According to recent studies on child behavior, today’s children are more self-centered and less empathetic than was the case years ago. It is vital that we correct this by learning activities to teach selflessness to your child!
With narcissism being the order of the day, it is quite unfortunate that self-focus is the first value that toddlers learn while growing up.
Often, as a parent, you are caught up in teaching a toddler how to read and write, how to use a fork and knife, or even how to walk that you forget to teach them how to be selfless.
Research shows that teaching a toddler how to be selfless has an overall effect on their health, academics, and social life. It is, therefore, very important to teach your toddler how to be kind!
This article highlights the importance of teaching selflessness to a child and the various toddler activities to teach selflessness.
Selflessness in a Toddler: Why It Is Important
Teaching kindness to a toddler comes with numerous benefits, including the following;
1. A Happy Toddler
There is a good feeling that comes with expressing an act of kindness or selflessness amongst both children and adults. Psychologists explain that this good feeling is produced by neurological hormones known as endorphins.
Endorphins are responsible for the activation of parts of the brain that are linked to trust, social connection, happiness, and pleasure. This means that a toddler is bound to living a happy life as long as they are selfless and kind to other children or adults.
2. Enhanced Concentration and Creativity
As earlier mentioned, selflessness is a fundamental ingredient in making a child feel good about themselves.
With these aspects and a positive outlook of things, toddlers tend to have greater spans of concentration as well as enhanced creativity.
3. Enhanced Feelings of Gratitude
It is essential to have your toddler participate in projects that help others. Not only does this help them stay away from self-focus, but it also triggers a sense of appreciating what they have.
Also, whenever a toddler shows an act of kindness to another child or adult, they are often appreciated with a ‘Thank You’ response.
This way, they learn to acknowledge gratitude as an essential aspect of life, which is factually correct.
4. Enriched Sense of Belonging
Studies show that toddlers that are selfless and kind have an enriched sense of belonging. Selflessness gives way to heightened optimism and self-worth.
For example, when a toddler is involved in tree planting in efforts to beautify a region, their sense of belonging to a community is reinforced. Their self-esteem is also boosted, knowing that they have participated in an activity that will cause a long-term environmental impact on the entire country or region.
It is said that toddlers engaged in hands-on experiences absorb more information, creating a positive learning environment for them.
5. Improved Social Life
Teaching selflessness to your toddler fosters behaviors and attitudes that create friendly and sociable environments.
For instance, when a toddler participates in charity work or shares a meal with other people, fundamentally, the child grows connected to individual social networks.
5 Toddler Activities to Teach Selflessness
Here are some activities that can help your toddler to be selfless.
1. Care for Animals
This is one of the most natural acts that can see your toddler grow to be a selfless child.
This is because most toddlers love activities that revolve around animals, especially their own pets. You can have your toddler choose a special treat for your family pet! You can even volunteer in an animal shelter to assist in some chores.
This activity teaches the child to place the need of other creatures above theirs, which is what selflessness is all about.
In terms of activities to teach selflessness to your toddler, caring for a smaller living thing is right at the top!
2. Tree Planting
Having your toddler involved in tree planting is quite an exciting endeavor.
Tree planting is a great opportunity for your family and toddler to beautify your community. You can walk with your toddler to a garden center or a local store where you can buy some tree seedlings.
You can also allow your toddler to have a say on the type of tree that you are to plant.
From planting to nurturing, and seeing the tree grow, your toddler will be proud to be part of the community and its ecosystem.
3. Make Donations
When a toddler gives freely, especially items that belong to them, certain values are reinforced in them. Values including generosity, gratitude, and compassion.
You can gather some of their toys gently and walk with your toddler to donate them. Pick a local orphanage or a needy home.
Talk to your child about the toys or items you intend to give. Tell them where you are donating them to, and the need to donate them.
It would be better if your kid picked the items to be donated willingly. You can make donations of other things such as clothes, food, snacks, or some books.
4. Community Clean-up
Most children grow without knowing how lucky they are to play, school, and live in a safe and clean environment.
As a parent, you want your toddler to appreciate this aspect by having them participate in a community clean-up.
Not only does this make them express their gratitude towards their community, but it also enables them to place their environment above their ‘selfish’ acts that pollute the same environment.
Identify a location and have your toddler collect litter with your help.
Make them understand what litter is and why it is vital to have the environment clean.
5. Visit a Children’s Hospital Regularly
It can be quite uncomfortable to be around the sick, especially for a child. However, visiting ailing children is one of the ideal ways to teach your toddler to be compassionate.
You can consult the coordinator in charge of the children’s hospital to see whether there are opportunities for your toddler to interact and play with the sick kids.
If your child is uncomfortable with such a visit, there are other ways through which your toddler can express compassion to sick children. Such ways include hair donation to cancer patients or help to prepare a meal for the sick kids.
Speak with your local hospital to see how you and your toddler can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can be kind to them. When you are kind to your child, they will feel what it is like being on the receiving end of kindness. Explain to your child that you also feel great BEING kind.
The simple answer is for you to be respectful! Your child will look up to you and learn from you. If you are respectful, the chances of your child being respectful are much higher.
Someone who puts other people first. An example would be handing someone your umbrella during a rainstorm. Another example of selflessness is to hand your loved one your jacket, even though you will be cold.
It is important to instill good virtues to your kids at a tender age. The 5 activities to teach selflessness on this page will give you a head start!
Teaching them how to express kindness in different ways will go a long way into shaping their personalities when they grow up.
Your kids will end up being compassionate and responsible adults when they learn selflessness at a young age.