Teaching compassion to your children should not be an occasional thing, or something to be mentioned only when they misbehave. Instead, incorporate these lessons into their daily lives and make sure to always lead by example. Teaching compassion to children is extremely important as it prevents bullying or aggression and makes them reasonable and well liked individuals.
Children have to be able to understand that they are not the only person that matters in the world. It is important to talk to them about the struggles that other people have, including yourself. It is as simple as saying “I am a bit tired from work today, would you like to help me make dinner.” Letting them know that other people get tired, angry or hurt and showing them how they can help is a great way to encourage compassion. Make sure whenever they do something nice, especially without asking, that you let them know it was appreciated. A simple thank you and smile goes a long way.
The best way to lead is by example. That means YOU have to make an effort to be compassionate yourself, both with your children and with other people. If you see a stranger who needs help or assistance, go over and see what they need you to do. Try and involve your kids if you can, so they can enjoy making someone’s day a little better. It doesn’t have to be much, it could be giving your up your bus seat to an elderly woman or reaching something from a high shelf.
Caring for and having responsibility of someone is a great way to teach compassion and understanding to your children. For younger kids this could simply be through the family pet, or taking turns to help out with grandparents or through chores. Older children may benefit more through volunteering occasionally at an animal shelter or a sports club or fundraising for a charity.
Compassion is an important lifelong skill to learn, so it is important you lead by example and practice it often.