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A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy and Caring Children

A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy and Caring Children

Despite what researchers used to believe, studies are now finding that children can show signs of empathy and concern from a very early age. As moms, many of us are well aware of this fact, particularly when we see our babies act in a caring manner that warms our hearts. What is important to note, however, is the positive impact this kind of behaviour can have on the overall wellbeing of our little ones.

According to the book, Teaching Children to Care by Ruth Charney1, engaging our bright stars in caring ways can build strong characters and nurture young spirits. In this manner, we can also guide our tiny tots to avoid the pitfalls of boredom, self-centredness and feelings of alienation.

Home-Grown Wisdom

image 509Not only is Pampers® the country’s leading nappy brand, it is also a brand synonymous with caring. This is perhaps best evidenced by its recent UNICEF campaign which saw one life-saving vaccination donated to a mother and child in need, for every pack of Pampers® nappies and wipes purchased. This special brand of care is also shared by the Pampers® Institute; a network of experts who seek to guide moms on how best to nurture their babies.
Pampers® Institute panellist and parenting expert, Sister Lilian agrees with the need to teach children to be more compassionate and says, “In South Africa we have our very own home-grown model on how best to raise a happy, healthy and caring child.”
“The spirit of Ubuntu is a Xhosa expression that simply means, ‘people are people through other people’. To expand on this, the term refers to the fact that we are human because we belong to the human community and we view and treat others accordingly. Ubuntu is an African word for a universal concept that we as mothers can use to guide us.”

“After many years of caring for moms, dads and their babies, I truly believe that it is more our responsibility to teach our children to live in a world in which all people embrace peace and equality; embody the essence and spirit of Ubuntu in their work, family and community lives; be encouraged and inspired to use their inherent abilities to the fullest; and find their passion to participate in, contribute to fully and benefit fairly from South Africa’s growing prosperity,” adds Sister Lilian.

A Spirit of Ubuntu Roadmap
While children are born with their own unique personalities, Sister Lilian believes that it is our duty as parents to demonstrate to our little ones how truly important it is that they behave with kindness and a fair sense of responsibility. “All children act in a thoughtless manner at times simply because they are still finding their way in the world, and learning about behaviour that is either suitable or unacceptable. These are the precious moments when moms can step in and teach the qualities of compassion, kindness and empathy,” adds Sister Lilian.

An Act of Kindness
When imparting these key life lessons Sister Lilian also advises concerned moms and dads to focus on the act and not the child. “Little ones are far more sensitive than we realise, and if we want them to continue believing they are still little champs in our eyes, it’s important to never put them down personally. When we focus on the act and give open and honest feedback, a child feels more able and willing to rise to the occasion and become a more caring human being.”

Lead by Shining Example
Sister Lilian closes by emphasising that if we set happy, healthy and caring examples then this too, is how our bright stars will conduct themselves as they set off towards their futures. Guide our children so that they too can be the change we wish to see in the world.

1. Teaching Children to Care: Management in the Responsive Classroom, Ruth Charney

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