To be compassionate is to be warm-hearted, merciful, tolerant and considerate, and most of all, to be empathetic towards the sufferings of others.
Individuals who are compassionate feel the desire to alleviate that suffering or pain that others are enduring.
It requires being open-minded and openhearted, and treating others equally and without preconceived judgments.
It is of such importance, especially in today’s world, that we are reminded not only that our children need to be healthy, educated, and happy, but that they must also be compassionate.
Often times, even as adults, we get caught up in the rush of our own lives, so much so that we forget that a little bit of compassion, towards a friend or family member, or to a complete stranger, can go a long way.
Raising a child is probably one of the most difficult tasks an individual can undertake. With every child being unique and having different personalities and learning styles, it is difficult to give advice and claim that it will work undoubtedly.
Below, we have outlined 5 ways to raise compassionate children, to give you the foundation you need to begin this new chapter with your child. Take this advice and tailor it to your child. Present it to them in a way they will understand and give them the means and experiences necessary for them to grow as a compassionate person.
#1 Help Your Child Understand How Others Feel
Rather than telling your child how their actions may make others feel, ask them how they think that other person would feel, or how they themselves would feel in that situation.
#2 Get Your Child Involved in the Community
It really is never too early to get your child involved in helping others. Bring them to help you in giving food at a local soup kitchen, delivering gifts to the poor during the holidays, or handing out supplies to disaster victims or the homeless.
#3 Celebrate Differences
Finding ways to expose your child to the different types of people and circumstances around them, and approaching these differences with positivity and acceptance will prepare your child for the time when they are faced with these differences in their own life.
Ensure they are not caught “off-guard” when meeting people different than themselves, such as people of other races, people with disabilities, or people with physical deformities. Teach them that these differences are okay, and are nothing to be afraid of or to mock.
#4 Provide a Positive Example
Children typically do as they see, not as they are told. If your child witnesses you refusing to help someone in need, treating others poorly, or mocking someone because of something that makes them different from yourself, they will most likely replicate this behaviour.
#5 Treat Your Child How You Wish Them to Treat Others
If you wish your child to be compassionate, one of the most important things to remember is to treat them with compassion. While they are little, they are human, and they have feelings. Let your child know that you understand how they feel, and have dialogue with them about it, rather than getting impatient, angry, or ignoring them.
Give these 5 tips a try. Implement these processes, actions, and conversations into daily life with your child and you will be amazed at the compassion your young one can be capable of.