ABC and 123: Teaching Compassion

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Teaching Compassion

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Today's Life Skill Sunday Lesson is Compassion!

What is it?
~Genuine concern for the welfare of others
~Sympathetic consciousness with a desire to alleviate someone's distress

It is important to encourage compassion in children. We must teach children to go beyond feeling sad for someone; we must teach them to act on their feelings by doing something for someone else.

Compassionate Words
~tender hearted

Brainstorm with your family to create a Wordle filled with words that define and/or remind you of compassion.

Start a Conversation about Compassion:
~Are you a generous person?
~How have your shown compassion?
~Tell a story about a time someone showed you compassion.
~"Compassion is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." ~Unknown.
What does this quote mean to you?
~Do all people deserve to be treated with compassion? Why or why not?
~Have you ever shown compassion to nature or an animal?
~Think of someone you know who is in need. What keeps you from reaching out in compassion?

Teach Compassion Through Action:
~Model Compassion
~Act as a Volunteer
~Give to a Charity
~Study Examples from History of Compassionate People
~Make Cards or Crafts for Those Who are Shut In/Hospitalized
~Perform Acts of Thoughful Kindness
~Discipline with Explanations: When your child misbehaves, explain the problem and allow the child to think about how they would feel if that happenend to them
~Encourage Apologies & Forgiveness

Download from Scholastic a PDF with Kindness and Compassion Ages and Stages for children ages 3-6. They also have an article on how to encourage acceptance and compassion through play worth reading.

The Magic Onions strives to teach her children about the importance of being compassionate to both people and animals. She worked with her daughter to make Blossoms for Birds. Their efforts provided colorful building material for the spring nest builders!

Family's With Purpose suggests setting up a Family Giving Box to make a difference in the lives of others.

Compassionate Kids is a non-profit dedicated to teaching kids to be compassionate to the earth, animals, and people.

Parent Magazine's May 2009 issue included an article on Raising Big Hearted Kids.

Teach compassion through a daily morning message and accompanying activity created by the Vancouver School Board.