Kindness in our children is something we encourage above all else. It’s something which, in our home, we aim to value and teach ahead of intelligence, talent, and responsibility. As parents, we hope to raise children whose character’s built upon this value.
In these days of endless stories of bullying and harassment, the expectation we set is for our children to step up for the bullied by stepping in. In these days of endless debates over whether children should be allowed in restaurants or not, I’m proud to say my children drew comments from a stranger on what a pleasure it was to see such considerate behaviour.
In a house of three children under 10, we work hard every day trying to raise siblings who know how to fight fair, how to love and be loved and who will be friends as adults.
Kindness starts at home but our approach isn’t foolproof. My 7-year-old is far more empathetic than her older brother. It’s like empathy is her superpower. She can read emotions near flawlessly when she slows down enough to pay attention. The key is getting her to slow down enough.
Trust me, teaching children to be kind and thoughtful is a challenge. But not impossible.
We tell the children, “You never know what that little bit of kindness will mean to someone’s day.”
Kindness is the pathway to empathy. In short, empathy is the ability to identify with or vicariously experience the emotions and thoughts of others. It can be a powerful skill and a lifelong tool for healthy relationships or simple daily interactions.
Empathy helps you understand your loved ones, pick your battles and is a key tool in managing stress as well. But it’s a complex character trait to understand as a child, so we focus on kindness.
Children can understand kindness, they know it when they see it and feel it. The trick is teaching them to demonstrate it.
Modeling kindness at home and in public is the most powerful method available to you to instill the value in your children. Teach your children thoughtful kindness and you will equip them for a life full of love, confidence, friendship, and compassion.
Vittoria is wearing a jacket & skirt by SheVer.
Daniela is wearing a jacket by simonetta (via Clara Garcovich), shirt sergent major (via Kidding Presse) trousers quis quis.
Ginevra is wearing an outfit by Roberto Cavalli (via Clara Garcovich) jacket by Sarabanda.
Ottavia is wearing a full outfit by simonetta (via Clara Garcovich).
Costanza is wearing a jacket by Péro.
Photography by Emily Kornya, children’s fashion photographer who works throughout Europe. She has recently moved back to Europe after completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature, Russian Literature in translation and South Slavic Studies at The University of Toronto.