Posted: Sep 18

How to Raise Children to be Kind

By Angela Emerson

kindchildren.jpgThe Washington Post recently ran an article on Christian formation for children.  Actually it wasn't about formation but it could be.

It was called, "How To Raise Children To Be Kind"

The five points are a no-brainer for any community of faith interested in young families and children:

  1. Make caring for others a priority.  Happiness and success do not trump concern for other.

  2. Provide opportunities for children to practice caring and gratitude. Learning caring and gratitude is like learning any new skill.  It takes regular practice.

  3. Expand the circle of concern. Help children learn to care about people outside their normal circle of friends of family – such as people in different countries or of a different economic class.

  4. Be a strong moral role model and mentor.  Do some kind of community service regularly with your child. Make it a priority.

  5. Guide children in managing destructive feelings.  Teach basic breathing skills like long deep breaths through the nose, slowly exhale through the nose, count to five and repeat until calm.

This is an example of being a good steward of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10.   It is also a good prescription for a program for children and youth. 

Anybody want to try it?

The Rev. E. Angela Emerson, Canon for Stewardship and Development, Episcopal Diocese of Vermont.