As a parent, you know the excitement of imagining your child as the next President of the United States, or a successful entrepreneur, or a famous movie star. However, what most parents truly want is that our children grow to become good, caring people, regardless of their chosen profession.
There are several reasons why it is important to raise compassionate children. Compassion is essential for a happy, secure, and connected life. It provides us with the ability to understand that people are more alike than they are different. Compassion allows us as individuals to empathize with others, putting their needs ahead of our own whenever necessary. Children who express compassion are loved, valued, and respected, and they grow up to become extraordinary friends, co-workers, spouses, and parents.
So, how do we raise caring and compassionate children?
At The Learning Experience, we recognize that when children are immersed in an environment of care and compassion, they will come to see the value of these attributes. Our teachers model caring, kind behaviors and consistently demonstrate for children how to tune into other people’s emotions — how to think about the feelings of others in relation to their own.
The curriculum at The Learning Experience offers opportunities for children to engage in compassionate behaviors both individually and collectively. Our unique and proprietary philanthropy curriculum also teaches children the value of selflessness and generosity, taking every measure to ensure that these values will remain with them for life. Our philanthropy curriculum instills in preschoolers not only philanthropy itself, but also key companion values such as volunteering and charity.
Students focus on a different philanthropic concept each month. Centers also host a monthly philanthropic event as a way of bringing to life what students learn in the classroom. In keeping with our philanthropy theme, cause is the vocabulary word for the month of February. True to this theme, our major philanthropic initiative is the BeCause Our Hearts Beat Art Auction.
At this event, preschoolers create heart-themed art that is then auctioned at their respective centers to raise awareness and funds for children-focused charities. The Learning Experience is a proud sponsor of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, which grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
As parents, you have numerous ways by which you can foster kindness and compassion in your child. Here are some suggestions:
Make caring for others a priority. Speak to your children about the importance of kindness and respect. Ensure that they address others respectfully, even if they’re tired, distracted or angry. Emphasize caring when you interact with other key adults in your children’s lives, such as teachers. Inquire not only whether your child is achieving academically, but also whether he or she is a good community member at school.
Model kindness. Engaging in community service, for example, allows children to see that it is an important part of your lives. It is especially valuable to include your child in this critical experience of giving to others. The benefits include your child’s opportunity to see acts of compassion that wear a human face, and a priceless impression is made when these youngsters witness firsthand the positive impact their compassion registers on those they are helping.
Read and discuss stories that focus on compassion. There are many wonderful children’s books that you can share with your child, including A Chair for My Mother, The Spiffiest Giant in Town, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, and Have You Filled a Bucket Today? Kids can learn by example through these heartwarming stories of compassion and caring.
Download the Bubbles Meets Charity & Grace app from our collection of Bubbles U educational apps. Grace & Charity teach our preschoolers, “It doesn’t matter how big or small you are; it’s the size of your heart that matters” Our BubblesU games are a fun way to extend learning beyond the classroom.
Like many things, compassion is a quality that children can learn over time and through regular practice. You can bring out the warmth in your child in simple ways such as dispensing love and a being great role model. The attribute of compassion is vitally important for our children to have because it leads to the development of so many other invaluable qualities, including kindness, love, and generosity. These qualities equip children to conduct themselves charitably in multiple dimensions of their lives, helping them to become praiseworthy human beings well into their adult years.
Originally published at thelearningexperience.com.