Sprinkle A Little Bit of Thoughtfulness Mixed With A Dash of Consideration Every Day
We are living through what can be defined as a tense time in history. As adults are processing, it is important to remember that children are observing and gathering information as well, on how to respond. The person(s) they are studying most, during this time, is you, their parent. Here are some teachable moments that you can make fun for your child.
1. Model Grocery Store Etiquette
Violet goes to the grocery store with her Dad in "Violet Makes A Pizza". During the drive over, Dad reminds her to be thoughtful of others, while pushing the cart in the store. During COVID-19, the Government has asked that everyone remain at least 6 ft apart, while at stores, for essential supplies. Explain to your child the thoughtful reason behind this, to protect yourself and others. Then model for your child how to remain 6 ft away from those around you, without complaint.
2. Video Call to Check on Loved Ones
Step-Mommy shows consideration towards Violet and Daddy, at the end of their long day, by observing that they worked hard. She offers to clean up. It is important to think of loved ones during this time, often reflecting on what is often unsaid. Making a quick video call, to check on loved ones can go a long way in helping someone feel cared for, because you thought of them. Model positive behaviors for your child while verbalizing why you are video calling versus seeing your loved one face to face during this time.
3. Do NOT Hoard Items
We all have seen the videos and articles written on the toilet paper, bleach, and cleaning supplies shortages. We have witnessed the empty food shelves in the grocery store and, quite possibly, viewed people physically fighting.
Positive behaviors are best utilized in these instances. You have a direct opportunity to model different behaviors in front of your child. Behavior that will lend to positive outcomes. When returning home with only the essentials and not overloading, make sure to explain to your child that you did not buy more than your family needs, because you were being thoughtful of others who would need the extra that you took. Share with your child that, yes, you could have your arms full of bags and products but you wanted to make sure you left enough for someone else. Let your child know that, in orger to be thoughtful of someone else, you do not have to personally know them. Trust me, your child is watching and listening to you.
4. Allow Others With Fewer Items to Go In Front of You, In Line
Remember, this is all about ways you can model being thoughtful of others, to your child. This is a direct example of, perhaps, going out of your way, for someone you don't know, as described in #3.
In "Violet Makes A Pizza", Daddy invited a young lady to go in front of them, in the grocery store. She only had one carton of milk to purchase. After seeing her Dad do this, Violet felt like she definitely had to ask him why he did that. Imagery is powerful. Your child seeing you do something very similar will stick with them.
5. Allow Your Child to Help Make Dinner
Violet's Dad oversees her making pizza for the family. He is her guide, from start to finish. He encourages her to buy ingredients that reflect the individual taste of the family members.
Daily, there are small opportunities gifted to parents where, via activities, parents are able to help children see the thoughtfulness behind their actions. Think of something fun for you to do with your child today then, take it a step further. Ask your child what you should make for dinner, based upon what their sibling likes, etc.
Books like "Violet Makes A Pizza" are extremely helpful in reinforcing the different ways children can be thoughtful of others.
The reading comprehension and parent engagement questions at the back of the book, along with the fun pizza recipe make learning fun!