Compassion in Action

Compassion in Action

Feelings of compassion can lead your youngster to do nice things for relatives, neighbors, and friends. Consider these ideas for helping your child think about how other people feel and what they need-and encourage them to take action.

Talk about it

Help your youngster understand the motivation behind kind behavior.  First, have him tell you one nice thing someone did for him today.  Then, ask why he thinks the person decided to do that.  Perhaps his big sister made a paper airplane for him.  He might say, “She wanted me to be happy” or “She knows I like to fly them, and she makes good ones.”

Work together

Let your child see you being compassionate, and have him participate.  For example, if you make a casserole for neighbors with a new baby, he could stir the ingredients.  While you work, discuss the neighbors’ feelings, and explain why you’re helping.

Look for opportunities

Inspire your youngster to feel compassion and act on it.  Say a friend falls and scrapes a knee on the playground.  You might ask your child how he would feel in that situation and what he would need.  Then, suggest that he treat the person the way he’d want to be treated.  For instance, he could get an adult to help and keep his friend company.