Top 5 Ways to Raise a Compassionate Child!
When your kid is a toddler, it’s easy to fear that she may turn out to be a tyrant. Hitting, biting, screaming, grabbing toys away from pals: It’s all typical toddler behavior. And it’s developmentally appropriate too. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until your child’s outgrown this stage to start teaching her about empathy and compassion. If you want to raise a compassionate child, now’s the time to lay the foundation. Empathy is what allows us to understand others’ feelings and be sensitive to them. Compassion goes one step further, not just understanding those emotions but acting on them: How can I help? Pretty big stuff for little kids, and yet they can and do start to learn these skills before they can even tie their shoes. We have made a top 5 ways to raise a compassionate child!
1. Play Pretend & Role Model
It’s a favorite of toddlers and preschoolers, and it’s one way kids learn empathy and compassion. After all, make-believe is all about taking on a role and in doing so, your child has to imagine how that person (or animal or magical creature) acts, thinks, feels, and responds to others.
Show your child what caring behavior looks like. Be kind and pleasant to everyone, from the store clerk to your partner. When you’re driving, swallow that road rage with a couple of deep breaths and give fellow drivers the benefit of the doubt.
2. Help Others & Say Thank You
Bring your child along when you donate old books or clothes, and explain what you’re doing it. Let her help when you shovel a neighbor’s snowy sidewalk, make soup for a friend who’s sick, or drop off a present for a toy drive during holiday time. When your child shares nicely with you or a sibling, or she responds sweetly to a request for help, praise and thank her (then watch her puff up with pride).
3. Be Consistent
If you tell your daughter to be mindful that her words have an impact on others’ feelings but then you turn around and lay into your husband for some minor misstep, you’re sending her confusing messages, says Robin Stern, Ph.D., adjunct associate professor of communications and education at Columbia University’s Teachers College, in New York City. So apologize to your husband in front of your daughter. Then say something like, “I was feeling really sad that Daddy had to work tonight, and I took it out on him. I’m sorry I acted mean.”
4. Praise Each Other Daily
Use mealtime as an opportunity for emotional reflection. Try to resist fighting about food so you can focus on simply being together. That’s something what a lot of families do to bond. They start their dinners by having each person offer one compliment and one thank-you. For example children thanking their mother for diner, even though it are just hamburgers. but they appreciate the effort you took to make them. It’s a nice way to connect.
5. Care For a Pet
Four-legged family members need attention, food, shelter, and love, but they can’t ask for it with words, so learning how to understand them is a way for kids to practice caring and compassion. Even young toddlers can learn to stroke Fluffy gently or toss Fido a treat. As your child grows, she can take on more responsibility for your pet’s care, such as filling food and water dishes.