Cultivating compassion in children is often an underestimated part of their upbringing. Making it intentional will help those compassion muscles grow. Here is a list of ideas to help children develop the ability to reach out to alleviate the suffering of others.
1. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or at an animal shelter. While it may be painful to witness the suffering of the homeless population for some, it is a powerful way to show children that they can make a difference. Shelters everywhere rely on the volunteerism of citizens to better serve this community.
2.Read books with compassion themes. There are many books for children with kindness and compassion as central themes. The more the topic is discussed, the greater the opportunities to practice in real life.
3.Discuss suffering. Though it may prove to be a difficult conversation, helping children notice the suffering of others is a first step in cultivating the action needed to alleviate that suffering.
4.Ask children who they would want to help in the world. They’re likely noticing more suffering than you might realize.
5.When your children are involved in social interactions and building relationships, be sure to observe and praise them when noticing compassionate behavior. Point out compassionate behaviour in others as well.