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Two important skills

Children need to learn to focus on individuals and truly listen to them.

They also need to learn to see the bigger picture by putting human experience in context.

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Shame, anger, and jealousy can interfere with kindness. Children need to be taught how to address these feelings.

When adults introduce ethical questions, they put issues of injustice in view and help children learn how to treat their various responsibilities to others and themselves.

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Children will emulate their parents. Children need to see how their parents show empathy, concern, and sympathy.

Most parents believe it is a top priority to instill kindness in their children.

However, in one study, nearly 80% of children surveyed said their parents taught them that personal happiness and high achievement were more important than caring for other people.

Children learn to act kindly the same way they learn anything else - with practice.

Give them daily opportunities to practice kindness, such as helping another child.

Few parents are willing to admit that they might be part of the children's moral state.
Parents need to understand what values they are instilling in their children by being aware of their own actions.

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If we're not careful, this can become our primary goal. We may find ourselves joining all those people around us who prize docility in children and value short-term obedience above all.

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