Five Tips to Raise a Selfless Child

Of course, you want your baby to be happy. But you also want him to be kind and loving. You want your baby to grow up to be generous and appreciate what they have. You might be surprised to find out that teaching your child to care about others and be selfless starts young.

Right now, your little one only knows what she wants, and she might not be shy about demanding it. Although your baby is not quite old enough to understand how to be selfless, it’s not too early to start thinking about how you can instill certain values. Consider some of the following suggestions:

  1. Lead by Example: We all have moments when we are a little selfish. But do your best to set a good example for your child. Model kindness and generosity. There are simple things you can do to show kindness, such as holding the door for someone, giving your seat up to an older adult and donating money to a good cause. Your little one will pick up on your behavior sooner than your realize.
  2. Understand it’s OK to Say No: Kids sometimes become selfish if they get used to always having their own way. Whether your child wants the latest toy or is having a tantrum to get their own way, there are times that you have to say no. It’s not always easy to say no when your child wants something. After all, you want him to be happy. But try to remember that giving him everything he wants when he wants it, may not always be in his best interest.
  3. Provide Sharing Opportunities: Of course no one wants to raise a child who is spoiled or selfish. One way to curb selfishness is to encourage your child to share. Whether it involves food, a toy or taking turns playing a game, provide opportunities for your child to share.
  4. Encourage Empathy: As your child gets older, talk to her about understanding other people’s feelings. Model empathic behavior and teach rules of politeness. Be patient. Young children don’t have the cognitive skills to completely understand the concept of empathy. But stick with it because eventually they will.  
  5. Praise Selfless Behavior: When you “catch” your child doing something kind or selfless, be sure to praise her. Make sure she understands why what she did was kind and how it mattered. But be sure you have realistic expectations. Children are not always mature enough to put others before themselves. The process of becoming selfless is gradual and requires a certain level of maturity. Still, there are small acts of selflessness that your child may show and should be praised for.

Written by MaryAnn DePietro @writerlady34

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.