We all know what a blessing it is to give and help others, but are we really teaching that to our children? Compassion is to feel for someone who is in need or suffering and to have the desire to do something to help. Children by nature are selfish and want their every need to be fulfilled when they want it and how they want it. Here comes the role of the parents in teaching their children not only to empathize with others but also to take initiative to help them.
By learning compassion children can understand that with one little act of kindness they can make a difference. And what better way for children to learn compassion than through our actions. As parents we are the greatest role models for our children, and as we know “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”
When you raise your kids with love and compassion, they are more likely to become compassionate people themselves. Here are some tips to teaching your kids compassion:
- Learn about the ways you can be compassionate to others so that when your child starts asking questions or acts in ways you might or might not like, you will know how to react.
- Be a role model for your children. Make sure your choices model compassion to your children, after all your kids look up to you and will mimic your actions.
- Books and stories are great ways to get through to your kids. Read stories about compassion. Pick the stories that contain the messages that you want to convey to your children. Reading a book with your child is also a great way for you to bond.
- Plan activities that allow your child to connect with animals and the environment. Take them out to observe ants, or learn about a tree. Let their curiosity flow. When children are more aware of their environment and its needs, they are more likely to be compassionate.
- Guide your children’s actions and correct their wrong behaviors. Observe how they act with animals or with the needy. If they are being unkind, have a one on one conversation with them to explain to them what should be done.
- Bring compassion into your every day conversations with your child. If they complain about something, ask them to remember that there are people who are less fortunate. For example if they complain about how cold it is, remind them that there are homeless people with no coats and no heaters. And maybe they could come up with ideas to help…
- Encourage your child to do acts of kindness and volunteer work. You would be surprised to see how rewarding it is to both the child and the receiver. Do some charity work with them at orphanages or visit the sick, let them take interest in other peoples’ lives.
- Celebrate the holidays with the less fortunate, bring joy into their lives. Maybe the kids can do the decorations.
- Encourage your children to be compassionate with others at school. If someone is being bullied help them out or if someone missed their class give them the notes so that they can catch up.