Compassion is so important. To an extent, it comes naturally and is something that we learn over time. But, it’s perhaps harder for our children today. They are overwhelmed with materialism, growing up in what can be a frighteningly selfish world. They share their whole lives on social media, but they’ve got no idea how to share with the people around them. The media and popular culture bombard them with selfish narcissism and indifference, and it’s our job to make sure compassion keeps up.
Teaching Your Children Compassion
Raising a child that cares for and thinks about others isn’t always easy. But, it will help them grow into a person that can love and be loved. Into someone who can make a difference in the world. Here’s a look at how you can do it.
Set a Good Example
As a parent, your first job is to be a role model. Behave how you want your children to, let them learn from your actions and behaviors. Spend time doing charitable things, have a clear out and head to a donation drop off. Spend time visiting elderly relatives and helping them with small jobs. But, most of all be kind. Listen to your children, make time for them, and be kind to them.
Spend Time with Other Compassionate People
You’re not the only person that your children learn from. When they are very little, a cuddle from a parent is all of the compassion they need. But, as they get older, they start picking up on the actions of others. Take a look at your close circle, the people that you see on a regular basis, and that spend time with your children. Cut negativity out. You know, those people that are always negative, or express negative views and opinions, the people that you don’t consider compassionate. You don’t need them in your life, and your children certainly don’t. Instead, spend more time with compassionate friends and family members.
Get Involved in the Community
Years ago, communities were close. Families spent time with other local families, and everyone helped each other. Now, many of us don’t even know our next-door neighbor’s names. Take your kids to community events. Volunteer together as a family. This can be anything from serving at a local soup kitchen to running a stall at a charity event. Whatever it is, get involved together.
It’s also a good idea to volunteer at your children’s school. Let them see that you are involved and want to help. The more often they see this, the better.
Speak to them
When your children are young, the idea of compassion, empathy, and kindness can be hard to understand. They are concepts that children can’t understand in practical terms. Instead, they’ll learn from how you act, and how you treat them. As they get older, however, you’ll be able to talk to them. Explain compassion in terms they’ll understand. Give them real-life examples that they can relate to. Then, explain why compassion is necessary and how it can help them. Keep things simple and be honest. Then, answer any questions that they may have.
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