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Nurturing Compassion In Children: That What’ll Make Them (us) More Human.

by | March 26, 2019

Compassion, as of what it stands for today is a general nature that nobody bothers to nurture consciously, yet everybody knows they have it in them (not sure of the extent). But what is the use of an overcast sky, if it never rains? If we’re to handover this planet to the next generations, it is high time compassion is nurtured in kids, rather nurtured responsibly. Not like a general etiquette, but a genuine nature. Read on to know more.

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Compassion and Children

Time was there when children used to be the epitome of kindness. This doesn’t imply now they are not. What it means is that the air has changed. Time has passed by, and trends are interfering in pure nature. The increased exposure to certain pop culture elements and other social creations have barred the otherwise natural flow of compassion, and thus the need for consciously nurturing it.

Children are cameras with record buttons pressed. They capture every detail (sometimes unknowingly) and that affects the people they’re growing up to be. It is safe to say, that you’ve got to show them what compassion is if you want them to know what it is. If otherwise, time may fade off the compassion from them.

How to instill Compassion in Children?

Here are the few things you can do to make sure they are exposed to the energy of compassion.

1. Tell Them Why They’re Vegan

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The biggest and the single most act of kindness, if one thing can be, is to stop blood shedding or be a cause of it.  If you’re raising your child as a vegan, you are already one step closer. Don’t think that your kid will not understand. Tell them about it. Let them know why you and they don’t eat meat or abstain from using any animal products. Keeping a reasonable restriction (unless you want to make them cry), tell them about the pain of animals in the commercial slaughterhouses and dairy farms. Give them hints about the pain animals feel. Let them realize why they don’t eat. The idea is to make them aware of the reason for their lifestyle choice.

2. Show Them Compassion

Vibes speak louder than words. The way you behave with a pizza delivery boy or your garbage collector reflects how compassionate you are. Compassion is not always trying to help somebody in need. Sometimes it is the empathy that allows you to feel the pain of others, and that affects your behavior. Be a living example to your children. They’ll gradually learn from you. Being especially aware of your reaction when around kids is a great way to hone qualities in them. Show them how they’re supposed to behave with their siblings, friends and anybody else. Teach them the magical words like- ‘thank you,’ and ‘I am sorry.’

P.S: Don’t limit the idea of compassion within a caring quality. It comprises of care plus much more than that. It is at times love, at time care, at times sacrifice and it goes on. This means it is multidimensional.

3. Share Stories Of Compassion

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You possibly grew up listening to a lot of stories from your parents and grandparents. Like, stories about little birds helping fellow birds and animals helping animals and even humans. Tell them stories. Stories are children’s favorite. They learn a lot from stories. It is also a great idea to expose them to certain animated films that are based on compassion, love, and care. Selectively exposing them to certain stories can make them realize the importance of mercy.

4. Go The Extent When Kids Prompt. Especially If They’re Being Compassionate

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It happens- kids try their best to save a little bird which is stuck in a fence. Or they’ll help out an ant to find a food particle. Maybe you’ve never taught them, but still, they do. This is the reflection of the merciful nature humans possess naturally. Support this. For example, if your kid prompts you to help an ailing animal lying on the road, although you may get late, help it. Or if your kid wants to shelter a kitten (or any animal) from danger, be a part of it too. The idea is to let them know you strongly support their view of helping and being mercyful.

5. Let them Serve

It might seem out of context, but it has far-reaching effects. For example- teach them to keep a keen eye on people’s need. Let them hand a cup of coffee to their grandpa instead of you doing. Teach them to know people’s need by understanding facial expression and behaviors. The idea is to nurture empathy and feel for others. This is a form of compassion. As they grow up it (understanding other’s need) becomes a part of their nature.

It is wonderful to raise children, and the wonders double when we see them growing up into compassionate being, whose hearts beat for others. It is a journey in itself to teach a child, where parents themselves end up learning. Compassion supports life and nurtures it. What do you feel about this? Do you practice a distinct way that we should know? Let us know in the comments below.

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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]

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