If you want your children to grow up with compassion, it is important that you show them the same compassion you have for yourself.
Compassion is not about having sympathy for someone else or feeling sorry for them. It is about understanding the suffering of others and wanting to relieve their suffering in any way possible.
It is important that children learn this in order to become compassionate adults themselves. Compassion begins with self-compassion, which means understanding your own suffering so that you can relieve it without having to feel guilty or ashamed of yourself.
You need not wait until someone else suffers before being compassionate toward them; as long as they are aware of their own suffering, then they are ready for compassion toward others who are also experiencing suffering.
This allows the development of self-compassion and an awareness of other people’s pain, which can help build a greater sense of empathy in the individual as well as greater compassion toward all living beings.
Compassion can be cultivated from an early age, but this is only possible if parents model their own compassion for themselves.
Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash.
Tips for showing compassion to your children
Make sure that you have a clear understanding of what compassion is and how it can be applied to the everyday life of your child.
Compassion isn’t about pity or feeling sorry for someone else. It’s about understanding that there are many people in the world who suffer from various forms of pain and suffering.
Compassion is about being aware of these feelings and knowing how to alleviate them. If you want your children to grow up with compassion, you need to model it for them in everyday life.
Children are very receptive to good examples; if you want them to learn about it, then show them by doing it yourself!
1) Compassion toward yourself
Compassion is something that must be practiced every day in order for it to become a habit; this doesn’t mean that we need constantly be thinking about others and trying to alleviate their suffering.
It means that we need to remember that we are also human beings and therefore have our own feelings of suffering and pain. We can take care of our own feelings by being aware of them, understanding them, and relieving them in any way possible.
When you’re feeling sad or depressed, think about how you can relieve your sadness; this doesn’t mean that you need to make yourself feel better or forget about the situation entirely, but it does mean that you should look for ways to feel better without making the situation worse.
For example, if you’re feeling sad because your child has left home and gone away to college, instead of focusing on how unhappy you are, think about what good it will do for your child if he or she is happy at college and how this will make your child happy too.
Photo by Rémi Walle on Unsplash.
2) Compassion toward others
If we are not mindful when we’re suffering from our own feelings of sadness or pain, then it is easy for us to get distracted by those feelings in order to avoid dealing with the situation at hand.
When this happens, however, it is difficult for us to become aware of other people’s suffering because we’re too busy focusing on our own feelings. In order to practice compassion, we need to remember that there are other people in the world who are also suffering from their own feelings of sadness and pain.
This doesn’t mean that we need to think about them all the time, but it does mean that we should keep an eye out for others and try to help them if we can.
3) Compassion toward animals
We should be aware of our own feelings of pain and suffering and also mindful of the suffering of animals. We should treat animals with respect and compassion and help them if we can.
This is especially important for children, who are very receptive to the idea that animals are also living beings like themselves.
If we teach our children to be compassionate toward animals, they will grow up with a greater sense of empathy for all living beings, which can make them more loving and caring toward other people.
4) Compassion toward friends and family members
Children are very social creatures, so it is important that they learn to become compassionate toward their friends and family as well.
This means that they need to be aware of their own feelings of happiness or sadness when their friends are happy or sad, and this means that they need to try to relieve their friends’ feelings if they can.
It doesn’t mean that we need to tell our friends how much we love them all the time. We just should be conscious of how happy or sad our friends are at any given time and try to make them feel better if we can.
It is important for children to understand the importance of making others feel good about themselves in order for them to become compassionate adults.
5) Compassion toward strangers
School and family are not the only places our kids spend a long period of time at. We should be mindful of our own feelings of happiness or sadness when we’re in the presence of others, and we should try to relieve the suffering of others if we can.
If you see someone who is sad, think about how you can make them feel better; this doesn’t mean that you need to tell them how much you love them all the time, but it does mean that you should be aware of their feelings and try to make them feel better if you can.
Children are very receptive to the idea that there are other people in the world who are also suffering from their own feelings of sadness and pain, so it is important for them to understand this in order for them to become compassionate adults.
Our blog, The Mindful Parent, is dedicated to the happiness and well-being of children. We hope that you will be a regular reader of our blog and that you will share it with your friends and family so that they can learn about compassion and relationships with others as well.
If you want to learn more about compassion and other advice about parenting, please visit our website here.