How to raise compassionate kids
Is raising compassionate kids as easy as being a compassionate adult? Is teaching by example the best way in this instance? Read on for some tips on raising compassionate kids...
Have you ever wondered why some kids are more polite than others? You may be friends with very compassionate people, but find that their children lack these characteristics. Is there a secret to raising compassionate kids?
‘Teaching by example’ is one of the best ways to teach our children good values. We find this a very important aspect of parenting. But is it the only way? Applying this principle alone could be frustrating to both kid and parent.
Having compassionate kids doesn’t just ‘happen’
In a recent TV drama, I watched a mother visit her son in prison and laments over how he turned out in spite of the love that was showered upon him. She brought him up with the utmost compassion. However “teaching by example,” was not enough to influence her son to become a compassionate person.
Children have different personalities, some respond positively to what they see. Sadly, some kids get ‘too comfortable’ with the way their parents dote on them that they end up being self-centered.
The most common mistake parents make is believing that having compassionate kids is something that comes naturally by being compassionate parents.
The truth is, character formation is a purposeful parental exercise aimed at training the child. Never leave this task of character formation to chance. Nor should you leave the responsibility to teachers or other role models like religious leaders. We should intentionally train kids to be compassionate and device methods to do so.
Noticing a problem and addressing it.
If you notice a problem with your kid’s attitude, approach the issue positively without criticising. Try and find out why your child is reacting negatively to a situation. Then agree on a corrective course of action together.
Read more about the right values to raise compassionate kids on the next page…
Teaching your kids the right values. Here’s how:
Strike a balance
In this achievement-oriented culture we live in, emphasis is placed on success, high grades, and competitiveness. This could blind children against being compassionate. Hence it is more important for us parents to to show our kids that it is possible to strike a balance, to be successful AND have an admirable personality.
The love we show our children should be balanced with some limitations regarding behaviour. Not doing so would risk them being stubborn and self-centered. This should be introduced when they are young. The older they get the harder it will be.
Give them small tasks to do like watering a house plant or feeding a pet. These tasks will teach them to care for another living being and teach them to be disciplined. (cause and effect – if you don’t feed your pet, he’ll be hungry) In turn, they will learn to be compassionate towards the pet.
Unacceptable behaviour should always be treated as such. If your kid grabs his sister’s toy without asking, don’t just ignore it because you are tired. You will confuse your child and lead him to believe that it is OK to bend the rules sometimes.
Be a good role-model
Be kind, helpful, and gentle with the way you treat others. Also be thoughtful about how you talk about others in your kid’s presence. Talking bad about someone behind their back isn’t setting a good example!
ever forget to instil your faith in them as early as possible. Whatever your religion or belief is, it’s the best way to guide you in raising compassionate children.
Nobody said it was easy to raise compassionate kids. However we hope the guidelines above will help you get started. After-all, we all strive to live in a country where everyone is kind and compassionate. This is only possible if we as parents raise compassionate kids!
We hope you found this information useful. If you have anymore tips on how to raise compassionate kids please leave a comment.