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Compassion is all about having empathy for others and demonstrating kindness and consideration. It’s important for children to be compassionate in order to build strong relationships, and generally, just be a better member of society. This is something that parents can help with, as explored below by a private school in Surrey.

girl using a colourful abacus and counting on her fingers

Explore Feelings

Help your child understand how feelings work and what they are. If they understand that nasty words can hurt someone’s feelings, they might be more inclined to think before they speak.

Likewise, if they appreciate that kind gestures and compassionate behaviour will lift another person up and brighten their day, they might feel more motivated to be a nice person and do thoughtful things for others.

Encourage Your Child to Think About Others

Considering how one’s words and actions affect others is an important element of compassion. So, if you notice your child behaving unfavourably towards someone, like snatching or failing to share, speak to them afterwards and ask them how they might have felt if the tables were turned.

Encourage them to think about how their behaviour might make another person feel and what they can do next time to ensure it doesn’t happen again. 

Praise Kindness

As well as calling your child out when they are mean or spiteful, you should also praise them when they are kind. Let them know you are proud of them and talk about what their kind gesture might have meant to the other person.

You should also point out the kind actions that you see other people do, not just your child.  

Promote Gratitude

At the end of each day, ask your child to share some of the things they are grateful for, no matter how big or small. This could be something you do as a family at dinnertime or something you chat to your child about privacy when you’re putting them to bed.

If your child can learn to appreciate the things they have and what other people do for them on a regular basis, they are more likely to be kinder to others. After all, what goes around comes around.

Be a Good Role Model

If you lose your temper often and say things you don’t mean, handle conflict with rudeness, and never apologise for your actions, your child will think that these are all the correct ways to behave.

On the other hand, if you are polite, kind, and manage problems without getting cross or nasty, your child will follow suit. It’s all about being a good role model and showing your child what it means to be a compassionate person.

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