Compassion is one of the most important things you can teach your child. If you can teach them to have feelings for someone else’s pain or recognize the needs of others, you have given them a priceless gift. How can we show compassion? We live in a world where the number one rule seems to be to look out for number one. Get them before they get you. We even hear that the strongest will survive.
The best way to teach compassion is to live it. If you child sees you reaching out to those in need or watches you care for the less fortunate, that will be worth a thousand words. We can preach to our young people, and we can bombard them with church and religion, but if we don’t actively portray compassion, the words are empty. Children learn by watching us, and they are observing us when we least expect it. A soft answer in turn for someone’s rudeness; donating time to a service kitchen; a shoulder for a family member to cry on- all of these things resonate with our youth.
A child is born with a certain amount of natural sympathy for others. You can watch kids play, and when one falls and starts to cry, another child will run to her and try to help. Even when children see adults who are sad, they try to comfort them. So, maybe instead of trying to teach compassion we should just protect and nurture their innocent instincts. In fact, if we listen and watch…our children can teach US about compassion.