How can you teach your child to be more compassionate?
Being compassionate or showing compassion to others is one of the most important traits of a human being. It allows us to be moved by others’ suffering and helps to alleviate or prevent it. It takes into consideration others’ feelings as well as emotions.
It is “feeling for one another”. Instilling the quality of compassion in your children since early childhood days is very important. In this egocentric world, children must grow up to become compassionate individuals.
Your kid’s ability to be compassionate towards others or understand others’ pain and suffering depend on your nurturing and how you raise them to be. The ability to understand others’ emotions requires time and hence has to be cultivated in the early years of childhood. It’s not difficult to teach your children, you can lay the foundation and they can gradually climb up the ladder.
Some of the ways in which you can teach your child to be more compassionate is by:
Setting an example:Live a life completely filled with compassion and set an example for your child. Children are very good at imitating rather than listening. They learn more by watching rather than just being preached. If you lead a compassionate life your children will get the message much more easily.
Compassionate acts may range from anything large to small. They might notice acts such as volunteering your time for a cause or working at an NGO or small acts such as comforting them when they are sick.
Any act of compassion, be it small or large your children tend to notice it and try to implement it in their own life. Express your emotions when you perform compassionately, tell them how much happiness it gives you when you help out others.
Talk to your children: Talk to your child about being compassionate and the essence of it. Express your emotions regarding it as well. When you talk to them about compassion, it gives them a much deeper and intellectual understanding of what role does compassion play in their lives as well as others. Give them small examples of how they can show compassion starting with their own family. It can be by showing kindness to their siblings or relatives.
Creating awareness about compassion or teaching them about it is not a one -day act, it needs to be built up gradually. You need to regularly engage your children in communication and experiences of compassion.
Engage them in compassionate activities: Once you have started talking to them about your stories of being compassionate, you can engage them in different compassionate activities or resources such as books, TV or movies. You can teach them more about it by letting them experience it. You can use toys and pretend that one of their toys is sick and ask them to take care of it.
You can ask them to look after their siblings and grandparents. They can also take care of abandoned pets. They not only experience compassion but other emotions relating to it such as kindness, empathy and caring.
Thank you and sorry: Emphasize on the importance of thank you and sorry. Teach them to thank others after every kind gesture and to tell sorry for any mistake they have made intentionally or unintentionally which has hurt others.
Recognize and encourage:Keep an eye on all their activities and recognize the smallest gestures of compassion and kindness towards others. Encourage them with your words and gestures and praise them for doing a good job.
This will motivate them further to continue what they have been doing as well as they’ll understand the importance of such acts. Sit and explain to them the effect of their being compassionate to others.
Community:All the teachings and preaching’s start at home. Ask them to be kind and compassionate towards their neighbours, community, school friends and any other place they go to. Teach them how important it is to promote good behaviour and how bad behaviour hurts others’ feelings. Ask them to be polite and courteous.
Bad behaviour:Teach them how bad behaviour affects others, the same way it will affect them. Make sure that rudeness won’t be tolerated and has a negative impact on others as well as themselves. Don’t let rudeness or bad behaviour pass un-noticed.
Media: Be critical to the media that they watch or read because it influences them. They might learn from it and apply it in their own lives. Make sure they watch positive things and then you can explain to them the reason behind such acts. Explain to them that rude behaviour or any kind of negativity is not good and how it hurts others.
Kindness and compassion are some things, which take time to develop but are the greatest assets of life. Be a good role model to your kid for them to watch and learn from your acts of kindness and compassion.
• Being compassionate or showing compassion towards others is one of the most important traits of a human being. It allows us to be moved by others’ suffering and helps to alleviate or prevent it.
• Your kid’s ability to be compassionate towards others or feel others’ suffering depend on your nurturing and how you raise them to be.
• The ability to understand others’ emotions requires time and hence has to be cultivated in the early years of childhood.
• When you talk to them about compassion it gives them a much deeper and intellectual understanding of what role does compassion play in their lives as well as others’.
• Be a good role model to your kid for them to watch and learn from your acts of kindness and compassion.