Saturday, June 21, 2014

Teaching Your Children Good Deeds ~ Tori

This week we are talking about teaching your children good deeds.
Good deeds aren't hard to do. In fact they are quite easy and simple, and can be as simple as a day to day kindness.
In our house good deeds are defined as helping out around the house without being asked (not including regular assigned chores), making a card for someone sick or to show you care, being nice to others, etc.
The main thing is that all kids love to help. Kids are naturally wired for good deeds. They like the way it makes them feel when they do something good, they like praise they get, they like being helpful. So it isn't hard to get kids to do good deeds.

The one thing we as parents have to remember is that we are the role model for our children. So to teach them good deeds we need to do good deeds. We should involve them. Let them help make chicken soup for a sick family member, let them help sign or send out holiday/birthday cards, show them how to hold a door open for others when you are out and about, etc. Once they see you do good deeds they will start naturally doing them, and it can sometimes become a second nature to them.

Good deeds also vary by age. What is a good deed now will change as they get older. But it's always a good idea to keep your children involved throughout the years, and to continuously set an example for them.
Make sure along the way you have conversations about good behavior, good deeds (and why we do them), and of course teach them manners. Without manners good deeds can be hard to do because children may not understand them. And while children love being praised for good deeds teach them that doing a good deed is not just about getting praise but feeling good about the fact you did something good for someone else.

For instance my son once shared his Ala cart money with another kid at school. He wasn't asked to do this. This kid only had a penny and some other children were making fun of him because he thought he could buy something at the Ala cart with that penny. My son knew everything at the Ala cart costs fifty cents to one dollar and since he had four quarters he gave the kid two. The kid told him thanks and they went up together and each got something worth fifty cents, sat down together and enjoyed their snack. A new friendship was made, and my son felt so good that he could help someone out.

For young children focus on good deeds. Let them watch cartoons where the characters do good deeds, let them read books focused on good deeds. Ask them questions about what they watch or read. Here's a few of our favorites:

Become involved. Ask your child: "Why do you think so and so did that good deed?" "What was the good deed or deeds done in this cartoon/book?" "How do you think that made he/she feel once they did that good deed?" "How would you feel to do a good deed like that?" "How would you feel if someone did a good deed like that for you?" etc. There is no limit on how you and your child can get involved, and the discussions are limitless. I know a lot of parents even have a "Good Deeds Day" where you do a certain amount of good deeds for someone in a day. So just know the possibilities are limitless! :)

What are some good deeds you focus on in your house? Do you have any examples of good deeds?

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