"The ultimate goal of raising children is to help them out of our lives and into successful lives of their own. "

Teaching Tween Kindness


Hi, I'm wondering how I can teach my 10 year old to have a kind heart. Her 7 year old sister is always doing sweet things for her without prompting and she sees it modeled between her dad and I doing selfless things for each other. We are just out of ideas to get her to think of others without being told. Thanks so much.


Thank you for your question. You didn't mention any "unkind" behaviors your daughter is doing so I'll assume that her sister simply outshines her in the "kindness factor." I understand your desire that your child be "kind" out of the goodness of her heart. And if you have one child like that, it's tempting to compare that child with the other...a question to ask yourself is, would you think you have to teach her to have a "kind heart" if it were not for the knowledge of her 7 year old sister? OR, could it be that the younger sister is doing nice things for her older sister because of her age/position in the family? I followed my sister around and was always trying to please her so I could be around her (hmmmm, I still do that!). Big sisters are pretty awesome people! Another important consideration is that your 10 YO is now a tween. I'll go ahead and generalize here and say that tweens and teens are not largely known for their selfless gestures. They're learning autonomy and really focused on themselves as they are figuring out where they fit in this world.

I think a realistic goal is to teach and expect your children to have manners. Manners is what we do so people around us know we care about them.

So, rather than try to teach your child how to have a "kind heart," focus on manners. Your daughter is old enough to be able to show others respect by practicing a wide range of manners. There may be a charm school or cotillion in your area. These classes are excellent places for young ladies and men to learn how to greet others, enter and exit an elevator, dine politely, dance, etc.

Good luck and let me now how it goes!

Subscribe To Get More From ParentGuru

Subscribers enjoy access to all questions and answers.


Return to Previous Page

View All Questions