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13 Tips for Raising Compassionate Children

There are times where I turn on the TV and the news just floors me. I don’t know if the world seems like a crueler place now than when I was a kid, if social media just makes the bad news more global, or if I am just seeing more of it because I am a parent now. Any way I look at it, I don’t like it.

There are kids who are committing serious crimes. Kids who are being bullied to such extremes they feel the only way out is to take their own lives and these problems only seem to be getting worse. There are many parents and individuals who are seeing all this news and wondering how we can make it better. What can we do to stop all this hate and cruelty in our kids? What made it get to this point?

My thoughts? We need to re-evaluate how we model and learn about compassion with our kids. Yes, we have to teach our kids compassion and I think that will have huge headway in making the world a better place.


  • Raising Compassionate Children 1 of 14
    Raising Compassionate Children
    Raising kids to be adults with compassion will make the world a better place.
  • Show Compassion to Your Child 2 of 14
    Show Compassion to Your Child
    Show kindness, take care of them when they're sick. Listen when they're scared and show them you love them. It feels good to be shown compassion and that's the first step for teaching your kids compassion.
  • Talk About Heroes 3 of 14
    Talk About Heroes
    Talking about everyday heroes like firefighters, those in the military and other service officers. Doing so will show your children compassion as a profession and can open their eyes.
  • Give Responsibilities 4 of 14
    Give Responsibilities
    Allow kids to help around the house, even if just small tasks like feeding the cat. Doing so, they will learn what happens when others rely on you and teaches them actions have value.
  • Show Compassion to Others 5 of 14
    Show Compassion to Others
    Kids learn so much from modeling behavior and showing compassion to other people will do well to raise compassion in your kids. Be nice to the person at the grocery store, go out of your way to help a neighbor -- it's all worth it.
  • Get a Pet 6 of 14
    Get a Pet
    Owing a pet is a huge responsibility, but also a great tool to model compassion. Your child will become attached and show the pet some extra love and responsibility.
  • Read Books on Bullying 7 of 14
    Read Books on Bullying
    Sit down together and read books on what bullying is, how it affects others and why it's not good. Talk about how hurt feelings can make a person feel and discuss how important it is to show kindness to everyone.
  • Discuss the Media 8 of 14
    Discuss the Media
    There is so much in the media that counteracts compassion. You even see it in kid movies with all the name-calling and bully behavior. Don't ignore those moments, use them to talk to your child about what should have or could have been done differently.
  • Don’t Tolerate Name-Calling 9 of 14
    Don't Tolerate Name-Calling
    In our house, we don't allow name-calling and offensive language. You may think that means no swearing, but it doesn't. It means they can't use language meant to hurt someone or insult (like "idiot" or "stupid") . Talk about better words to use to express what they're feeling (we prefer the word "foolish" over "idiot") and how those words can hurt.
  • Let Kids Make Mistakes 10 of 14
    Let Kids Make Mistakes
    It's hard to see our kids fall and fail and make mistakes, but it's so important. It builds their character and allows them to take away a lesson from their mistake.
  • Applaud Kindness 11 of 14
    Applaud Kindness
    We can spend so much time saying "no" or redirecting our kids and disciplining them that we lose track on commending great behavior and acts of kindness. We always try to point out and say thank you to the kids when they go out of their way to be kind.
  • Give Back 12 of 14
    Give Back
    Volunteer as a family -- even if just for one weekend a year. Fund-raise for a cause, give your time to a charity and talk after how good it felt to give back.
  • Define and Enforce Rules 13 of 14
    Define and Enforce Rules
    If you never gave your children any tasks or responsibilities or consequences for when they didn't follow through, they won't learn that what they do (or don't do) can affect other people. Putting themselves in other's shoes is a great stepping ground for compassion.
  • Explore Feelings 14 of 14
    Explore Feelings
    Allow your children to talk about their feelings, even if you don't understand them. Not only that, but also be sure to express your feelings to the kids too. Doing so, they will get a better read on people and show compassion when needed.

Photo credits: photostock

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