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Share tips on how to raise a kind child to win £50 of John Lewis vouchers and copies of Wonder by RJ Palacio

(59 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-May-15 10:53:25

When RJ Palacio's Wonder first hit bookshelves in 2013, it was featured as Mumsnet children's book of the month and became an instant classic.

So what is it that makes this title so special? As one Mumsnetter aptly put it: "This is a beautiful book - funny and heartwarming with a lesson we all need to remember: be kind". The story teaches children about friendship, kindness, bullying and being different, an issue that becomes increasingly important as children hit secondary school and follow their friends' example, rather than their parents'.

We're asking you to share your tips on how parents can instill values of kindness in their children. Post up your tips before 12th June, which is antibullyingpro.com Kindness Day 2015, and you'll be entered into a draw to win £50 vouchers for John Lewis. 5 runners-up will also receive copies of Wonder, plus a copy of 365 days of Wonder, a book of collected words of wisdom.

RJ Palacio has also written three short stories from different characters whose voices we didn't hear in Wonder - Julian, Auggie's school bully; Christopher, Auggie's oldest friend; and Charlotte, who sees Auggie's story unfold as a bystander. Head to Amazon or iBooks to check them out.

Watch the trailer to find out more about Wonder.

This competition is now closed. Winners will be contacted shortly.

hanliying Tue 26-May-15 12:44:46

I encourage my son to share whatever snacks he get with his sister and reward him with more. He loves it and now forms a habit to share whatever he has with his sister.

dragonfly63 Tue 26-May-15 12:45:12

Be a good example and let them follow your lead - the easiest and moct effective way to teach children.

Clawdy Tue 26-May-15 12:49:00

As a mum and as a teacher I always found what worked best was being very positive - praising little things a child did that showed kindness to others, saying things like "That was so kind, Sam looks really happy now." If they did something a bit nasty, I'd say "That's such a shame,you're usually so kind. Sam looked sad,didn't he? " Worked well most of the time anyway!

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 26-May-15 12:51:16

I have teenage girls and we have discussions about this as it can be an unkind time. Both are pretty popular in school and I have always tried to instill the importance of kindness (using Mean Girls as an example of how not to be.

It doesn't hurt to be nice to people and you never know what they are going through. A little kindness could mean the world to someone going through a rough time in private. I have always done my best to model kindness and consideration of others, balanced with a bit of self assertion- I want them to be kind but not walk-overs.

Tamar86 Tue 26-May-15 12:51:24

My daughter is one of the kindest, gentlest children I know. I'd love to take the credit for my great parenting grin, but I think it mostly comes from within.
I do always encourage and praise kind behaviour.

CheeseEMouse Tue 26-May-15 12:55:01

My 21 month old does some really kind things and I try and encourage that through praising the behaviour I like to see. An example is when her 1 month old brother is crying she goes to find his comforter and gives it to him (without me having prompted her) which I always tell her is a kind thing to do and thank her for it.

kpdchudleigh Tue 26-May-15 13:18:35

There's an old saying that goes something like "Children learn what they live". I hope my children will learn kindness through my own example. We've cooked Christmas dinner for the elderly in our village, left groceries on the doorstep of someone in need, helped a neighbour search for their dog on Dartmoor............... although giving a lift to the 'sick' lady who turned out to be roaring drunk was perhaps a little off the mark.

Nottheshrinkingcapgrandpa Tue 26-May-15 13:24:32

Being a role-model so that the children copy and it becomes second nature.

scrappydappydoo Tue 26-May-15 13:27:34

I try and demonstrate it as often as possible. I also try praise my dc for being kind and comment when someone else is doing something kind whether in real life or tv.

OinkBalloon Tue 26-May-15 13:27:44

Teach by example.

Use reflecting language to spell out praise.

Reward effort and consideration - it doesn't need to be a tangible reward, reward kindness with kindness.

Don't boast about the kindnesses you do, but include and involve the dc, with age-appropriate explanation.

pennwood Tue 26-May-15 13:38:45

Right from being a toddler I always taught my daughter to have 'kind' hands to prevent hitting others etc. & having consideration for others. Children tend to emulate what they see so I try to set a good example, & always comment whether things are right or wrong so they soon learn right gets lots of praise, & wrong gets the stern voice of explanation.

lindarumsey Tue 26-May-15 13:47:49

Teach kindness by showing kindness, tolerance and understanding. Children learn so much just by following their parents actions. Always praise good behaviour and more will follow!

nushcar Tue 26-May-15 14:06:46

I try to catch my children when they're good instead of telling them off each time they're not so praise and reward kind behaviour. Most kids stories for toddler/ young child age group also have a kind hero and a 'baddie'who is not so kind, so is helpful to have a quick chat after a story debriefing on what behaviour was good and what not and what repercussions are if are unkind.

chevronstripes Tue 26-May-15 14:18:16

Be kind yourself, point out and praise kind behaviour and encourage empathy by asking "how would you feel if". I do think that to some extend kindness comes from within. I also reckon that at some stages children aren't all that kind especially to siblings.

NKffffffffbf5b8886X11459075257 Tue 26-May-15 14:21:49

Say things with a smile - something as simple as a smile goes a long way and costs nothing.

teabagsmummy Tue 26-May-15 14:39:45

I always tell my ds to treat people as he likes to be treated. And he has a kind nature at school he will go and sit and chat to another child that is upset or lonely

jt75 Tue 26-May-15 14:39:50

Take the time to explain being patient with other people who may not be as quick as themselves.

riverwell Tue 26-May-15 15:25:34

I think using pets is a good way to install values of kindness. Whether it be just feeding them, taking them for a walk, giving them a drink or just patting them. It seems to provide immediate non verbal feedback that epitomises kindness.

TheMagnificientFour Tue 26-May-15 15:32:58

By example. A LOT.

And by pointing out how x comment will make one person feel bad, what they will hear and how they will probably feel.
By making them think about how they would feel about it themselves.

Tbh, at the moment, I'm finding that raising a kind child before they are teenagers is relatively easy. To keep that up when they hit the teenage years is harder.

leosmummy2010 Tue 26-May-15 16:55:18

I encourage my kids to share with everyone but not to expect anything in return.

shewhomustbeEbayed Tue 26-May-15 18:44:07

My 11 yr old dd is incredibly kind, she is always thinking of others, some of which is my example like us recently sorting some things out for Chernobyl children visiting locally. I work as an Admiral Nurse (we support the carers of people with Dementia ) and I discuss with her what little things can make others happy.
As the youngest in her secondary school, as she has an August birthday, she has experienced some unkindness since starting in September but now she recognises better when others are being unkind and is more likely to stick up for the person on the receiving end.

gemmie797 Tue 26-May-15 19:37:27

Be kind to them and give plenty of praise when they, in turn, are kind to another

Valski Tue 26-May-15 22:15:25

Hey folks,

My top three tips for getting my little ones to follow my examples when out and about are below:

1. Always hold the door open for other customers and people leaving or entering a building, shop etc. We do not drop doors in people faces. Think how you would feel if they did it to you, I say!

2. Never run straight to the front of a bus stop you have just arrived at. Assume there is a queue and wait your turn to board bus. Again,put yourself in their situation.

3. I always tell my children ahead of them encountering anyone who I know they will assume is 'different'. My sister, their aunt, was previously an anorexic and still has health issues and also osteoporosis. She can't physically get down on the floor to play with the girls, cannot stand for long periods and still looks physically very frail. Discussing this with the girls before hand may not stop all their staring, but it does eliminate awkward, cruel questions which will hurt people and which i know my sister would be embarrased to tackle. They know that we as a family can openly discuss this and can always ask me in private at home later on if they have any more questions.

The first two are very old fashioned things I know, but I think if we have high standards in these basic areas it helps them spread to other areas of the girls lives.

Appreciated all the tips on this thread,

Thanks Rachel

Godmancunian Wed 27-May-15 12:20:43

Children learn kindness (and other altruistic qualities) by the examples they are set by the adults who look after them. If those examples are positive and demonstrating behaviour that is noble and considerate towards others, how can they not learn to be the same?

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