Children now are growing up in the “ME” world, which is all thanks to materialism. If there’s anything the past year-and-a-half has taught us, from racial injustices to domestic terrorism to harassment and abuse, it’s that compassion and empathy towards others can be a rare resource. Like many things, kindness is a quality that children learn over time and through practice. Thankfully though, there are many things you can do to encourage your child to be a kinder, gentler person. In this blog by Podium school we will talk about the 10 ways to raise a compassionate child.
Kaiser says that parents can model empathy and compassion in a few ways. This can be through service, such as taking a meal to a neighbor who is ill. Demonstrating to your child how to put themselves in someone else’s shoes is a crucial building block for other caring emotions. But empathy – the ability to understand another person’s feelings – develops over time. A 2-year-old may try to comfort a crying playmate by offering her own pacifier or blanket. But, by the age of 5-6, they often can share more easily and take turns. Additionally, they can discuss what it means to be kind and can brainstorm ideas for how they might help people.
- 10 strategies for encouraging compassion in your child
- Believe your child has the capability to be compassionate
- Treat your child with respect
- Don’t let rudeness pass unnoticed
- Acknowledge kindness
- Be sensitive to messages your child picks up from the present media
- Avoid setting up competition within your family
- Understand that your child’s perception of differences in others comes into play
- Explain that calling names or excluding someone from play can be as hurtful as hitting
- Show your child to help people in need
- Coach your child to pay attention to people’s facial expressions
- Final thoughts
10 strategies for encouraging compassion in your child
The following suggestions will help you to teach your child about being goodhearted and compassionate. But nothing “will work in the absence of an indestructible link of caring between parent and child.” When you kiss your daughter’s hurts or read cozy bedtime stories to your son, you are giving your child the base that enables them to reach out to others. Compassion entails.
Believe your child has the capability to be compassionate
If you treat your kid as if he’s always up to no good, soon he will be up to no good. But if you assume that he does want to help and is concerned about other people’s needs, he will tend to live up to those expectations. Belief goes a long way. Children tend to sense these emotions. If they sense a positive energy coming towards them, they react in a positive way and vice versa.
Treat your child with respect
This can be as simple as notifying your child that playtime is over. It’s disrespectful of parents to suddenly decide playtime is over. And snatching their kids away abruptly to go home. They maybe a child but they must be respected, and parents need to do just that. You might also point out successful conflict resolution through real-world experiences. At home, for example, you could say to your child, Mamma and Papa don’t always agree, but we listen to each other and treat each other with respect. And we do not put each other down.
Don’t let rudeness pass unnoticed
The third strategy under the 10 ways to raise a compassionate child is not letting rudeness pass by. You might say, wow, that person must have had a really bad day to talk in such a rude voice to us at the market. What do you think? This teaches your child that when someone is nasty to you, you don’t have to be mean in response. It may just mean that they have had a bad day, and in return you can be kind to them to make them feel a little better.
Be sure to show your child that you notice when someone does something nice or even when your child does something nice, acknowledge that. For example, if someone slows down to let you exit a parking lot at a busy intersection, or at an exit gate of a supermarket. You could say, It was really nice of that person to let me out, don’t you think so? In the same way, if your own child treats someone nicely, be sure to acknowledge and praise their effort. We at Podium School always teach children kindness. Pleas watch these 7 movies to encourage emotional intelligence in kids!
Be sensitive to messages your child picks up from the present media
Children are just as likely to imitate kind actions they see in movies and read about in books as they are to act out other types of scenarios. Be aware of the programs and movies your child watches and be available to talk about what they see. Also, encourage reading books that focus on caring and compassion. If required put a child lock on the devices which your child has access to. You could also show them some educational websites they can visit.
Avoid setting up competition within your family
If your kid isn’t the only child or has cousins and if you say, Let’s see who can clean up the fastest, you risk setting your kids up as rivals. It may so happen that when children are pitted against one another to win at anything, they tend to learn that other people are potential obstacles to their success. Instead, you could encourage them to work together to get the job done and praise them for their group effort.
Understand that your child’s perception of differences in others comes into play
Young children notice differences in people, just as they notice them in animals and colors of crayons, so assume the best. If your child says something socially inappropriate, it’s important to explore the comment calmly. First ask, why did you say that? Only then you can correct the misunderstanding by more fully explaining the situation.
Explain that calling names or excluding someone from play can be as hurtful as hitting
If you hear your child calling someone a “shit head”, go right into problem-solving mode with them. Point out how the child who was called a name is upset, and how they have hurt them. Recognize that the real problem may be that the name-caller wants something. Ask, if you want something, what’s another way you can get it without hurting somebody else? It’s also important to make sure the child who has been called the name isn’t feeling victimized and encourage your child to apologize to them and mean it. Read these blog on helpful ways to deal with bullying by podium school.
Show your child to help people in need
You can encourage your child to donate a toy he has outgrown to the annual toy drive. While you buy a set of blocks to give away. He can also help you bake cookies or other delights for a shelter and come with you when you visit someone in the hospital or a nursing home.
Coach your child to pay attention to people’s facial expressions
The final strategy under the 10 ways to raise a compassionate child is learning how to understand another’s perspective. We as human beings are more likely to reach out to other people in need when we can imagine how the world looks from someone else’s point of view. Therefore, it becomes very important to teach your child about interpreting facial expressions.
Kindness and compassion are learned, and life presents challenging situations even to adults. Being a loving parent and a great role model will go a long way toward raising a wonderful, tolerant human being.