Why exactly is it so hard to be compassionate? I know first hand just how difficult it can be, when it really shouldn't be. Compassion should come so easy to us.
One of my parenting goals is to make sure my children are compassionate. Not only to each other, but to all of God's creatures. But exactly how do we teach them to have compassion? For starters, we have to start with ourselves. We teach best by example, right? Are we being compassionate with our children? Our pets? What about other people? When you're stuck in traffic and yelling at the idiot who cut you off, is that teaching your child compassion? I know it's easier said than done, (I have the worst case of road rage!) but it's a must.
Another way to instill compassion in our little ones is to have them practice it first hand. Volunteer at an animal shelter or a food donation center. Have them pick out some toys they no longer play with or clothes that are too small and donate them.
If it's possible, get a pet! Even if it's something small like a hamster, having a pet to care for is a great way for kids to learn compassion. Plus, it teaches responsibility as well.
A few more ways for children to learn how to be compassionate:
- Check out your local library for children's books on being compassionate.
- Discuss situations in which your child should be compassionate with others. Role play with them on the best way to handle the situation.
- Look up Bible verses about the times that Jesus was compassionate with others. Read and discuss them with your child.
- Have your children write a story in which the main character shows compassion for others. You could even take it a step farther and have them put together a little book complete with illustrations to go along with the story.
I think we can all agree that our world needs more love going around. If we want something to change, we have to change it. It starts with us, we can't wait for someone else to make a difference. If we can teach the next generation to love more than we did as a generation, we can definitely make a huge difference! So what are you waiting for?
Here's to more love and compassion in the world!