Teaching kids to be gentle from the very beginning is very important for personal growth, safety, well being and socialization. Babies start off smacking everything they come upon because they are exploring their own movements and everything is new to them. As they grow older, it is essential to start teaching them how to be more gentle.
How to be kind and gentle to your household pet, how to be delicate with a new baby and how to be respectful to their toys are all very important lessons. If they never learn that slapping and smacking are a no no, they will accept this as normal behavior. Teach your little one how to be gentle and kind in various situations and before you know it, they’ll pick it up.
When Introducing a New Baby
Sometimes when a new baby pops into the picture, sibling toddlers may show signs of jealousy and act out. Teach your little one to be gentle and care for the baby by including them in the self care of the baby. Even though it may be nerve-wracking, let them hold them with you sitting beside them. The more involved your toddler is with the baby and the more they get to participate in caring for them, the more they will learn how to be soft and gentle with them.
Show Them How to Be Gentle
You can teach a small child how to be gentle by using their own toys. If you show them the proper way to touch on one of their stuffed animals, they may eventually understand. Smooth the fluff down on their stuffy, pet them and show them how to be loving to their fuzzy best friends instead of ripping their heads off or pulling the stuffing out.
Teach Them to Be Gentle in the Moment
If you take your little one to play dates, playgrounds and drop-in groups and find that your cute little angel is smacking other babies and taking their toys, stop them in the moment. Explain in baby terms that hitting is not accepted at any time. When they raise their hand to hit another baby or toddler, hold their hands down and say “no.” You will have to repeat this many times, but the sooner they get a hold of it, the sooner you can return to those play groups you’ve been banned from.
Don’t worry, your child will get the hang of it. They just might smack a few things (and people!) along the way. This is why it is smart to start teaching your child kindness, gentleness and manners from the very beginning so they can grasp it as they grow older.