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It’s scary raising kids today in a world where bullying is prevalent. Here are some ideas on how to raise nice kids.
A few weeks ago, I saw a video (shown below) that moved me to tears.
It told the story of a boy who was bullied for several years. He became depressed and told his peers he was planning to kill himself.
Their reaction? They encouraged him, even taunted him to do it. And so he did.
My mind was blown. What is this world coming to? Is this the society that my children have to grow up in? What happened to just being nice? Does The Golden Rule no longer apply?
Times have apparently changed, my friends.
And it’s not that people weren’t mean back when I was growing up. There were certainly still bullies and even at my age there are people who are just mean– people who thrive when they make others feel bad about themselves.
But now there is an added factor of the Internet. Bullies (or just mean individuals) have 24/7 access to their victims. In the old days, a bully had to wait until he saw someone in person in order to be a jerk. Now he can just text or send a message on Facebook.
It’s as if the victim can’t escape, even when he’s in the comfort of his own home.
So how do we stop this problem?
I honestly don’t know. But I’m going to do the only things I can think of, as a mom. I’m going to educate myself and I’m going to try my hardest to raise nice kids. Kids who stand up for those being bullied.
I’ve done some research on the topic of how to raise nice kids and here’s what I have come up with…
How to Raise Nice Kids
- Model empathy for your children on a daily basis. The best way you can teach your kids the importance of being kind is to show them kindness in action. Helping out another mom who is struggling in the parking lot with groceries, checking on an elderly neighbor who fell, or even petting and snuggling your dog…these actions show kids that the world is bigger than just them. We have to care about everyone.
- Have a loving relationship with them. This is the advice of one of my parenting gurus, Dr. Laura Markham. On her website, Aha Parenting, she writes: “The most effective way to keep children from being bullied, and from becoming bullies, is to make sure they grow up in loving relationships, rather than relationships that use power or force to control them.” Read more from this article “10 Ways to Empower Your Child Against Bullying” here.
- Play the Peppy Pals apps with your child. Peppy Pals are three fun apps that help kids develop empathy and emotional intelligence. It was heartwarming to see that my four-year-old knew instantly that she should help the doggie in the story, just by looking at the expression on his face. She even commented about the animals’ emotions throughout, i.e. “He looks sad. We need to help him!” or “Now he’s happy!” Peppy Pals Farm, Peppy Pals Beach, and Reggie’s Play Date are available on iOs, Android, and Amazon.
- Read books. There’s nothing a good children’s book can’t teach a kid, that’s what I always say! Some of our favorites that teach kids about kindness are The Berenstain Bears and The Golden Rule, When I’m Feeling Kind, Duck & Goose: Goose Needs a Hug, and the eBook Dragon Makes New Friends (free for Amazon Prime members!). For more books geared towards older children, check out this article.
- Volunteer as a family. If you show your kids that helping others is a priority and how your family chooses to spend its free time, they will learn that it is important. Check out your county’s website for volunteer opportunities in your area.
Do these tasks guarantee that your child isn’t going to become a bully? No.
But at least you are stressing the importance of caring for others, even those who are different from us. It’s a great start towards raising a compassionate, empathetic child who will hopefully stand up for what’s right in this crazy world.
Want to learn more about how to raise nice kids? Check out these resources:
- Blog post: “12 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas”
- Book: Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids
- Article: “20 Ways to Raise Kids Who Are Thoughtful and Kind”
- Pinterest board: “CarryOnParents- Raising Kind & Brave”