show our kids how to become loving people

Let’s Show Our Kids How to Become Loving People

As we head into the Valentine’s season, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the hearts and candy aspect of love. Our kids spend time preparing sweet messages for their classmates and friends. And as adults, we do the same for our own relationships. This annual celebration of love is a good reminder to live out and demonstrate our love. But as we teach our children, could we go a little deeper with our teaching and our example? Can we show our kids how to become loving people?

When our kids work on their Valentines, they often have favorites and definite un-favorites. The favorites receive the best, and the unfavorites receive less, if they receive anything at all. Of course, it’s natural to want to treat our closest relationships with the best. This is a good thing. 

At the same time, sticking only to this standard can teach our kids to see themselves and their people as being above others. It’s easy for all of us to fall into this kind of thinking. We very easily see our own perspective and our own crowd as our version of what is normal. But staying here can cause us to push other people aside or even to consider them as less-than. And so it’s important to push ourselves to see further than our own perspectives. As adults, we can show our kids how to become loving people.

Our Example Matters

And this is where we start – with our own example to our children. Our kids see how we treat our neighbors and how we talk about our friends. They know if we are welcoming, inclusive people, and they will follow our lead in that area. If we tend to be judgmental, our kids will be that way too. And if we tend to show grace to others, our kids will do so as well. They will follow our examples. So as parents, let’s think about what we are living out in front of our children. And if we need to make some adjustments, let’s be willing to do that. Even this attitude of evaluating, adjusting, and growing is such a great example for our kids. It’s a wonderful way to show our kids how to become loving people.

Practice with our kids

Being a good example goes a long way with our children. But we can also teach them and guide them in their own situations. We can start with helping them to be accepting and welcoming people. It’s great for them to have their own good friends. And while they enjoy these closer friendships, they can do so in a way that doesn’t treat anyone else as less-than. So let’s teach our kids to be kind to other children, even if they aren’t close friends. When our kids have conflicts with other children, let’s teach them a balance of standing up for themselves while respecting the other person. Our kids can learn how to think about someone else’s feelings. 

Role playing can help young children to work out their responses to different situations. We can set up a scenario for our kids, and help them to figure out a good response. This really does help kids know what to do when they face the actual situation. Or we can ask our kids how they would feel in a certain situation, and then help them associate that with their own actions toward others. 

Really, it comes down to keeping this conversation going. We can regularly ask them how they would feel if they were on the other end of a situation. As we help them through conflicts with other children or through how they behave with their friends, we can show our kids how to become loving people. 

Signing can help to teach these ideas

So in this Valentine’s Day season, let’s look at ways to help our kids become truly loving people. As we do so, there are some signs that can help us to emphasize these ideas with our kids. The sign for love is one of the most commonly known signs, but it is still worth going over and using!

You could also learn the signs for friends, invite, and share.

Find some fun Valentine’s Day activities in our Hand-y Crafts, print out Signing Time Valentines to share, and learn Valentine’s Day signs with Rachel.

And check out our My Signing Time Valentine content here! If you don’t have a My Signing Time digital subscription, try it out with a 14-day free trial right here!

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