Teaching Kids About Forgiveness

Apr 18, 2016

Forgiveness for Kids

The act of sincerely forgiving someone is a powerful choice that demonstrates self-love and empathy for others. It allows the person who chooses to forgive, the opportunity to release negative energy and not become overwhelmed by anger. The ability to manage emotions in a productive way doesn’t come easy for most. The act of forgiveness is an important skill that needs to be learned and regularly put into practice.

Teaching Kids about Forgiveness

Although some kids are born with a forgiving and peaceful nature, many others aren’t inherited with this gift. Parents must spend a generous amount of time teaching children the trait of empathy for others, which in turn allows teaching children about forgiveness to be much easier. Caregivers and teachers should pose as an extension of parents and take some time to focus on how to teach our children forgiveness. Children need guidance on how to handle their emotions and lessons on everyday coping skills needed to achieve a pleasant life within a community. One of the most impactful approaches to teaching kids about forgiveness is to lead by example.

Here are some suggestions on how to teach children and encourage forgiveness for kids:

Activities to Teach Forgiveness

  • Recognize and support – Acknowledge instances that leave your child feeling angry. Don’t discredit your child’s feelings, kid’s need validation just like adults. Sometimes just the fact that you showed support and allowed your child to own their feelings can be enough to put the youngster at ease.
  • Let go of stress – Let your child release the feelings of frustration. There is nothing wrong with feeling angry. The buildup of such negative emotions will create stress for the child. When a difficult scene arises, shift your kid away to a place where the child can vent. Several minutes of screaming, stomping or pounding on something soft will release the bad energy and help restore calm.
  • Have a dialogue – When your child has regained composure, encourage a simple discussion with the person involved in the conflict. Teach them to speak their minds and stand up for themselves. Try to come up with forgiveness games for children as a way to lighten the mood.
  • Inspire empathy – Analyze and explain the situation in a way that allows your child to consider the other person’s feelings. Encourage activities to teach forgiveness and caring for others.
  • Say “I forgive you” aloud – Saying the words out loud will help rid the child of some negative feelings and help move the healing process forward. The goal is for the child to realize that relationships are important and that we all make mistakes. Forgiveness for kids can be learned and will become a rewarding habit.