Cultivating Compassion

By kfg_admin

As parents, it is our innate desire to raise children who are kind, respectful, and compassionate. In today’s fast-paced and multicultural society, it has become increasingly important to foster a more inclusive society as compassionate human beings.

Empathy is a remarkable quality that allows us to understand and share the emotions of those around us. It is a powerful tool that goes beyond sympathy, enabling us to truly put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and respond with kindness.

Neuroscience tells us that developing elements of self-control and empathy is possible for even the youngest children. As the brain is constantly developing and refining connections between neurons, practising these skills with our children can help build the necessary connections, no matter their age.

While toddlers may not always recognise or understand when they have caused emotional upset, preschool-aged children increasingly develop empathy by observing and experiencing the world around them. They look up to their parents, siblings, teachers and friends as role models and learn how to become compassionate and caring individuals who make a positive impact on their communities.

5 ways to Cultivate Compassion

  1. Model positive action. What you do and say is critical; let your child catch you in the act of kindness such as offering a comforting word to a friend. Many parents start role-modelling from infancy; they talk while feeding or playing with their baby.  This helps lay the foundation for a lifetime of give-and-take and sincerity with people.
  2. Treat all children with respect. This can be as simple as alerting your child that playtime is almost over or extending warmth to all children and encouraging inclusive play.
  3. Don’t let rudeness pass. You might say, “Wow, that cashier must have had a really hard day to talk in such an unfriendly voice to us at the supermarket. What do you think?” This teaches your child that when someone is unkind to you, you don’t have to be uncaring in response.
  4. Be sensitive to messages from the media. Be mindful of the programmes your child watches and be available to talk about what they see. Also, encourage reading books to your child that focus on caring and compassion.

Other helpful articles