Teaching Kids Compassion
No matter what traits you attempt to verbally instill into them, you will eventually pass on to your children many of the habits you practice around your them.
Leading by example is among the best methods for helping them understand empathy. It means adopting the lifestyle you envision for them as a way of demonstrating how to measure the importance of giving. While helping children find positive, Christian role models on television and out in the world is helpful, nothing truly replaces leadership in the home.
Talk to Them
Responsible parenting means taking time out to talk to your kids about compassion, whenever the opportunity arises. It's a great way to help them become mindful of situations in which empathy is necessary. If you notice your child behaving selfishly toward a peer, remind him or her about the long-term benefits of sharing. At home, teach your children to care for each other. Help them to understand core Christian values such as loving others the way they would like to be loved. Later in life, they will look back with gratitude on the time you spent sharing those valuable life lessons.
The Importance of Giving
Teaching the importance of sacrificing for others can go a long way for children. As part of your parenting strategy, if you spend time with them, performing community service and spontaneous acts of kindness, they may seek out creative ways to help others once they reach adulthood. Holidays are excellent times to get out with your children and give to those in need.
Generally, during these periods, we tend to focus on receiving as much as giving, more so in many instances. Taking moments during which children would typically expect to open presents and, instead, using them to give to those who are less fortunate can impart the concept of placing others before themselves.
A Little Praise Can Go a Long Way
It's easy for parents to get caught up in helping their children learn values that pertain to becoming independent, striving toward financial success in life, and building families of their own. All of these things are relevant, but part of contributing to and improving society is learning to care for others. It's one of those fundamentals that often gets lost among the long list of temporal values. Experts agree that too much recognition can have negative affects, but praising children for showing kindness, in a way that reinforces their personal character, can help develop compassion-oriented attributes.
In a world driven by electronics and social media, helping children develop genuine personal connections is more critical than ever. It's important that they don't view these tools as replacements for human relationships. After all, part of learning compassion is developing a viewpoint that reminds them to see the worth in others.