Educating your children’s brain gains its importance only when you educate their hearts. Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable as it is to the caterpillar. Compassion is the quality that has to be deliberately practiced because it keeps coming back to you.
Empathy and kindness are the fundamental components of compassionate behavior. Empathy is the ability to understand and be sensitive to the feelings of others. Empathy helps us to be more deeply attached to our family, friends, and even strangers. Compassion explains the feelings of suffering along with someone and to feel the pains of another living being so much that one suffers along with that person. The derivation of the word compassion is from Latin, which means co-suffering.
Compassion is all about caring others. Compassion is showing concern through kind thoughts, words and actions. To simply put, compassion is helping, giving, listening and being patient. Compassion is being able to recognize when someone is suffering, and to respond to the suffering in sensitive ways that recognize the needs and feelings of the person suffering. Making physical caring gestures and start to think about others’ feelings in relation to their own, many of these responses happen naturally, but you can make a more conscious effort to promote empathy-boosting experiences for your children.
Compassion in Children
The strong feelings of intense children can be overwhelming and leave little room for the feelings of others. And some children have a harder time reading other peoples’ cues and may need extra help to develop a strong sense of empathy.
Sometimes strong feelings can get in the way of feeling compassionate and children get stuck in feeling angry, resentful, hurt or afraid. There is new evidence that forgiveness can be beneficial not just to the recipient but to the person who offers forgiveness.
You may show compassion when you help your mate to tie her shoe on the playground or took your piggy bank to school without telling your mother and donated the entire money to the school maid, whose house had burned and thought that they could use it to buy food.
Call it compassion, empathy or kindness what could be more important than fostering this quality in children?
Recognize its Strength
Recognize situations where it is difficult to be compassionate. Understand that forgiveness is an important part of compassion. Learn appropriate ways to apologize and words to use to say “sorry.” Recognize forgiveness as strength. Learning how to apologize and how to accept an apology are important first step towards compassionate behavior.
Understand and care about other children’s feelings, and people outside the family with compassion. It’s also important to listen to others’emotions and openly share your normal feelings. When you watch your daughter offering a playmate some chocolates, pay attention to it by saying, “That was very kind of you to give her a few when you didn’t have very many.”
Expose yourself to the sufferings of others, to feel grateful for what you have and proud of being able to help someone. Understand situations and listen stories that people who are in trouble or facing difficulties and discuss them how you feel about the characters in those situations and stories.
When reading or watching TV, talk about how you identify with a character, and how you must feel. Care for a younger child or pet. Understand the expressions and behaviour that how the baby or animal is feeling. Deliberately, feel proud and pleasure when you act in a sensitive manner and share how it made you feel.
Take opportunities to make a social contribution, like being a reading mate to a young child, or raising money for a charity. Find a cause that you can really care about.
Loving Kindness to Cultivate Compassion
Send your kindness in words, as best as you can, for those you find it difficult to love. Repeat the loving kindness, slowly to yourself in whatever words seem appropriate. Try to be at peace and keep your heart open to love all. May you awaken to the light of your own true nature. You can be healed with love and you can also be a source of healing for all souls.
With a sense of openness, direct loving-kindness to yourself, in your heart repeat to yourself as is comfortable, with whatever words you find appropriate. Follow your breath and focus on your intention to cultivate compassion. Repeat slowly to yourself.
I shall be at peace and my heart remains open. I will awaken to the light of my own true nature. I shall be healed and be a source of healing for all souls. Now imagine directing that love towards those you really love. Picturize the love in your mind for those you feel. Reflect the same in your eyes. Be happy.
Let that love expand to everyone in the room in which you are sitting. Fill the room with your love and care. Letting the whole room, all these people, be in your heart. Don’t forget yourself. Just sit in the light of this love, in this caring for yourself, for all souls on the planet. May all beings be happy. May all beings be free from suffering. May all beings be healed. May we all come home to our own completeness. May we all be whole and at peace.
May we learn just to be, a moment at a time. No expectations. Just an open heart and sharing it as we can. When you are ready, experiencing openness of heart, warmth and patience, be happy and be at peace, as you go about your work together.
Love and compassion hold the true essence of life. They are the doors to humanity. Practice them to experience how these emotions conquer your heart to bring a change in yourself. Don’t let the unnecessary thoughts cloud your pure inner-self. Consult the right psychologists and know how to lead a happier life. Book an appointment today to observe an unbelievable transformation in your life.