Raising a Compassionate Child

We love our child unconditionally, to the ends of the earth and beyond, so we go that extra mile to make sure that they are happy, content and safe.  This is natural, normal and being a human parent.  We want our child to be happy and healthy, to be smart, well liked, and successful as an adult.  We teach them to read and talk, put puzzles together, eat with utensils and learn to go to the bathroom all by themselves.  As a parent, we also need to teach our child to have compassion.

Our child is not born with an innate propensity to have compassion.  The capacity is there, but we have to foster it as parents.  It starts with the relationship you have with your child.  We need to model that continuously throughout their lives.  A child needs to know security and love, to be understood and accepted even when a rule is broken.  Modeling unconditional love can be hard sometimes, but a child needs to know that no matter what, they are loved.

When our child knows and feels our compassion for them, we now need to be able to show it to others.  A parent needs to show the child how to feel for others, whether it be visiting a loved one in the hospital and holding the person’s hand or offering to carry a bag of groceries for an elderly person.  Any way that you can demonstrate how to care for others in front of your child will help them to become compassionate people.  They will do what you do, and in time understand what it really means.

In order to even better understand compassion, it’s good to talk to you child about what it really means.  Ask them what they think another child is feeling and what they can do to help.  The child begins to fully understand feelings of others and what it may take to help someone.  This will help them in the future with their friendships, relationships with loved ones, and everyone they come in contact with.  They will be more happy, well-liked and successful than you ever could have imagined because you taught them to be compassionate people.

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