Saturday 28 January 2023

How to Raise a Compassionate Child

**Collaborative Post**

AD: Just like many of the other skills children need, they are not born with them and they are skills that they learn as they grow over time and with practice and good role models around them. Social skills are just one of those skills and when helping your child with their social skills, it's important to also work on compassion and empathy as well as communication skills. These are all skills your child will use and navigate on an almost daily basis it is never too early to start modeling these. 

As they grow, children will need the skill to be able to read situations and handle them appropriately. This comes with what we call “emotional intelligence”, which is the ability to recognise different emotions. We’ve collaborated with a prep school in Surrey to create this post and share ideas on how you can raise your child to have compassion for those around them.

Emotional Intelligence

Whilst we all display emotions in different ways, there are facial expressions and behaviors that are typical of each of them. You can begin to explore these with your child so that when they are presented with them, they can empathise and respond accordingly. When you are feeling sad for example and your child can clearly see you are sad, don't brush it aside, explain (if you can) why you are sad and how you are feeling. The same goes for your child's emotions, if they are feeling happy or sad or mybe even angry try to encourage them to explain their feelings and why they are feeling this way. It will help them understand which emotions are used and why it certain scenarios and will therefore be more understanding of others' emotions too. 

Their Own Feelings

Personal experiences can help children relate to one another and show compassion, so as an exercise you may want to look at how they feel from time to time. Explore the emotions and label how they feel. As mentioned above, don't dismiss their feelings, instead, try to encourage them to discuss how they are feeling and what made them feel this way. 

Demonstrate Compassion

You can also give them examples of how to show compassion by being compassionate towards others. If you see someone notably distressed, like a friend, family member, or even your child, talk to them and offer emotional support or even a hug. You could even come back to this at a later time and discuss what happened and why you acted the way you did, this can be especially helpful if things happened quickly or in a busy space at the time. In the same way don't be afraid to discuss anger or sadness too, if you see someone yelling or shouting you could try to explain to your child that this person is angry and that they are yelling out of anger or frustration etc. 

Be Patience

This can be difficult for children to do, especially when they’re young as they don’t understand what emotions are, let alone understand why someone feels the way they do. While the tips above will help, it’s important that you are patient. It's not that your child is rude or unkind if they fail to show compassion, they just lack understanding which will come with time.

Remember this is something that will take time to learn, in fact, I think it is something we are always continuing to work on, even as adults. So be kind and remember our children learn from us so to work on their emotional intelligence, you can also role-play various types of social situations. It will give them a chance to learn social cues and form an understanding of what they could do to show compassion and support.


No comments:

Post a Comment