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“ How to Instill a Sense of Social Responsibility in Kids” self help books & personal development Social Responsibility article

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Kids learn how wonderful it is to be a contributing member of the community by taking part in helping the disadvantaged. This cultivates in them life lessons, such as cooperation, tolerance, respect for life, and loyalty.

How can you pass on this virtue to your little ones?

Here are some tips to help you turn your tots into valuable and responsible members of the community:

1) Be a good role model Children learn through observation. If your child sees you involved in charitable acts, he or she will follow your example.

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2) Help your kids sort through their closets for items they can donate Use labeled boxes to segregate toys, clothes, and shoes. Ask them to choose an item of clothing or a toy that they no longer use. The basic rule is that if your kid has not worn a shirt for 6 months, chances are he will not be wearing it again. The value of this activity great diminishes if you go through their closets without your kids’ presence.

3) Bring them along to the donation sites Kids should do charitable activities personally. While there is nothing wrong with sending donations to charitable institutions, personally visiting homes that care for children, the elderly, and the sick helps kids witness the joy they bring to the people they help.

4) Praise your children when you see them act generously Acknowledging even the simplest acts of charity is very important. Take pictures of the time you and your children visited an orphanage or let your kids know how their generosity has affected others by showing them photos of the happy recipients.

5) Parents should find out what interests their kids to have an idea on the task to assign to them. Who is good at sorting? Who is good at writing and labeling? Matching the right task to the right kid will help ensure their interest in what they are doing. They will feel a greater connection because they have made concrete contributions.

Local child centers, orphanages, religious foundations, and other charity groups welcome all sorts of donations. Many families prefer to give donations in kind.

Whether your child sends a box of toys to an orphanage or hands half of his burger to a homeless man on the street, both deeds espouse the value of charity and the endeavor to make a difference to others’ lives.

How to Negotiate Effectively With Your Child

“Negotiation” is a term you do not expect to hear when talking about kids.

After all, you will only hear it in the boardroom or in movies like S.W.A.T. Yet, this word is very important for children. This is also something that parents should learn when dealing with them.

Whether you like it or not, life with children involves negotiation. At worst, it can be a very challenging process. At best, it can be a great learning experience for you and your kids. It is in negotiating about little things that kids learn how to deal with conflicts constructively.

To make negotiation an effective process, parents need to keep their cool and learn to manage their own emotions and frustrations. Here are some pointers to help you:

1) When you want your child to do something, say it in a way that appeals to his need for control and independence.

This will make him more inclined to agree to your request and make him feel more responsible. For example, say, “Would you like to park your bike in the garage all by yourself?” rather than “Put that bike away now!”

2) Involve your child in the decision-making process

Make him feel that his opinion matters to you. Give him a chance to think on his own. For instance, say, “How many minutes more do you think you will need to wash up?” or “What punishment do you think you deserve for hitting your sister?”

3) For a child to have a full understanding on an issue, you must always explain your point of view.

Be ready for any response from your child!

4) When negotiating, you do not have to give in.

This is not about winning or losing. It is about meeting halfway. However, as far as health or safety reasons are concerned, putting your foot down and saying no is always the answer.

5) Use age-appropriate and fun ways to negotiate.

If your toddler refuses to eat, do not force him. Instead, present meals in fun ways. Cut up sandwiches into different shapes or write his name on an omelet with ketchup.

6) Give him a smooth transition from one activity to another.

Allot a few more minutes so he can finish what he is doing before moving on to another activity. This will lessen the chances of an argument. If it is almost dinnertime and your child is still playing, he will surely fight his way to continue doing so. Tell him he has two more minutes to play then it is time to eat. This way, he will feel that you respect his time.

At the end of the day, remember that you still have the final say. You are in charge. Make sure that you listened to your child’s point of view and have a fair decision. Eventually, children will come to respect your decision. They may not like it but later on, they will realize that you were just being fair, after all.

When negotiating with your child, do not lose your temper. Take time to cool down, practice these tips, and you will come up with a win-win situation. After all, this is the essence of negotiation.

How to Effectively Teach Kids to Appreciate What They Have

As a parent who wants your highly carnivorous child to eat his vegetables, you have probably tried this ominous guilt trip tactic at dinnertime: “Think about the homeless who have nothing this good to eat!” But, chances are, the line hasn’t succeeded in prompting your little one to gobble up his greens.

Another scenario: On a typical Sunday afternoon, you bring your kid to the local zoo. For the first time, he finds himself face to face with tigers, eagles, and alligators. You hoist him up high so he can see all the animals while you “ooh” and “ahh” to spark his attention. Yet, strangely, he just does not seem to be interested.

The crux of these conundrums lies in appreciation, which, like gratitude and discipline, is a set of behaviors and emotions within a complex psychological framework. Teaching appreciation to your children is a process that grows with and complements their development as a person.

Appreciation is a sensitive awareness of the positive aspects of one’s own life. When coupled with empathy, which is the ability to understand and relate with another person, the capacity for appreciation takes time to develop in a child. When your child is unmoved by the sight of starving children, it does not mean that your five-year-old is an unfeeling little creature. He is simply thinking and acting his age.

What is the best way for parents and educators to instill a sense of wonder and gratitude in children?

Help children act their age. For instance, a toddler will most likely be attracted to tactile objects that engage their senses and employ their motor skills – so draw their attention to things that stimulate those faculties.

Be specific. Rather than taking your children on whirlwind tour of the garden, zero in on a single object that they can focus on and admire, like a birdbath or a flower shrub. Being concrete in language is also an important method to teaching appreciation to kids.

Teach by example. It’s as easy for children to pick up good habits, like courtesy and politeness, as it is for them to uncritically imitate the negative ones.

Be creative. Encourage kids to explore parks, zoos, museums, and recreational spots like beaches. At home, parents can broaden their children’s capacity for genuine appreciation by engaging them in playful and creative activities, like treasure hunting.

With proper guide and rewards, the children’s innate curiosity can boost their enthusiasm for new experiences. If children sustain that sense of wonder, they would not lose that feeling and say, “Wow, there’s a whole world out there!” As their cognitive and emotional faculties expand and grow, they become children willing to learn about the world.

For parents, who eventually have to address their children’s questions about the ill ways of the world, teaching appreciation will not only get kids to eat their vegetables – it will develop a sense of perspective that will progress from words to action.

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