You and your family just moved into your new home with the help of Black Tie Moving. You noticed how compassionate your oldest was with one of the movers, and you were wondering how you ensure your youngest will have the same compassion.
Here are 4 steps to teach your children compassion!
Step 1: Lead by Example
Children learn best by mirroring what’s around them. This is why it’s so crucial that you don’t inadvertently teach your kids bad behaviors, as you never know when they are watching. However, this works the other way around too. If your child sees you acting with compassion, they will begin to learn how to mirror and mimic this behavior.
While it will take more than just having your child observe your compassion, it’s vital that they become aware of it while they’re too young to understand it fully themselves. This way, when you go to teach them more about the meaning of compassion, they will have an idea of what it looks like from when they were much younger.
Step 2: One Good Deed a Day
Once your child reaches the age of 6 or 7, you should consider adopting a “one good deed a day” method with them. The idea of this method is simple. You and your child make sure that you do one good deed a day that helps someone else. This could be as simple as giving a stranger a compliment or picking up a piece of trash.
After your child turns 10, start to encourage them to practice their one good deed on their own. You want them to build that awareness of how and when they can help someone. How you keep track of this is up to you. You don’t want to make your child think you don’t trust them, so perhaps going over their deeds once a week is a good starting point.
Step 3: Teach Them the Meaning of Compassion
Once your child is old enough to truly comprehend compassion, it’s time to start teaching them about the importance of it. You want to show them how compassion helps and heals the world. There are many resources to help you accomplish this. It’s important you figure out what will best encourage your child to learn more.
Books are a wonderful resource that can help children learn about compassion. You could either read these with your child or have them read alone. It’s best that you ask your child what they prefer. After learning about the meaning of compassion, be sure to have regular conversations with your child about their understanding of it. Oftentimes, you will find even you can learn something from them.
Step 4: Compassion With Themselves
The last, most important, and usually most challenging step is to teach your child to have compassion with themselves. You should start this early, but it becomes even more crucial as they reach the teenage years.
In order for a teenager to learn to have compassion with themselves, they need to believe they are worthy of it. This is why encouragement and compassion from you to them is vital. Teach them to love themselves for who they are. Consider having them journal and recite positive affirmations that are true to them.