“Five Ways to Nurture Compassion in Kids”

January 29, 2019

Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.
-Arthur Koestler

On the Mindshift website, author Shauna Tominey writes about five ways to nurture children’s compassion:

  1. Use words that you would like to hear your child use now and in the future. As you choose the words you say to your child and to others, imagine how you would feel hearing those same words from your child…be intentional with your own word choices…choose to think and speak with compassion.
  2. Live each conversation beyond your words.Do more than have conversations about being compassionate…look for ways to act compassionately at home and in your community. Explain to your child what you are doing and why so that your child hears what you are thinking and brings a compassionate perspective to their own thought process.
  3. Look for role models and examples of compassion in your own community.Seek out examples of individuals and groups…that are working to make your community a better place. Point these activities out to your child…
  4. Recognize that building compassion takes time. Just like any set of skills, building compassion takes time and lots of practice. You may feel discouraged at times when you see your own child acting out or struggling to think about someone else’s feelings, but this is normal. Developing compassion is a lifelong process that is easier for some people than others, and one that is challenging for everyone.
  5. Learn from your child along the way.As you and your child find your voices together, take time to listen to and learn from one another. You may be surprised by the insights your child offers. Your child might think about other people’s feelings in ways that you may not consider. When you learn something new from your child, let them know that. With all the ways they learn from you, they will love hearing that you learn from them, too.

Source: “Five Ways to Nurture Compassion in Kids” by Shauna Tominey, kqed.org/mindshift, January 3, 2019