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Author Lisa Sellman provides several tips how to teach your child compassion.

There is no virtue more needed in our world today than compassion. We need to nourish our children with compassion and you need to know how to teach your child compassion  in a changing world.

Compassion can help us and the generation of children we are here to teach how to find love for everyone including ourselves, community, and a meaningful life.

how to teach your child compassion As the Dalai Lama says, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

This is why every parent needs to understand how to teach your child compassion.

Many Buddhist schools say that the teaching of compassion has two wings, like a bird, and when the one wing of compassion is taught the other wing of wisdom will also be engaged. In this way, the bird will only soar high when both wings are strengthened.

 In our global world of today, bringing true wisdom about an international or local crisis can help children and parents see things in a new way. Giving children hope for the future and helping them to see how their simple acts of service to help others or even the understanding of events is a priceless gift that will have a profound effect on their lives.

The following are some suggestions for how to teach your child compassion and bring compassion into the lives of your children and into your family.

  1. Start A Gratitude Journal With Your Child – When we feel lack, it is hard for us to see the problems others face. That is why the gratitude journal is a good place to start to help our children appreciate the abundant world that surrounds them.

You may use a journal or even a simple notebook for this exercise. The important thing is that each night, your child is reminded to write down and chronicle the gifts in their lives. Start with listing 5 items a night. As the pages start to fill, it may be fun for your child to look back over the previous months or years as to all of the gifts that have made up their life. This is yet another tip on how to teach your child compassion.

  1. Build a Simple Routine At The Evening Meal – It is very important for children to acknowledge everyone that helps them on a daily basis. A simple practice to instill this in children is to start each meal with sharing “Who did I help today and who helped me?”   

This is one of the easiest ways for a parent to learn how to teach your child compassion.

From their teachers, to bus driver’s, to kindly people that open the door for them on their way into school, no one’s efforts are too small to acknowledge the kindness of others. It will also help your child to stretch his mind in ways as to how he or she can also help others.

  1. Develop A Routine for Weekly Chores For Children – Compassion is not something that is developed outside of the home. Compassion starts in the home and flourishes outside, so helping your children understand all of the work that goes into the home and the work you do is important.

A chart on the fridge will remind them of their tasks. If the children are too young to read, take a photograph of what the finished clean room or picked up entry way looks like. It can really change a child’s perspective when they feel instrumental in the well being of their home’s upkeep and its harmonious function.

  1. Start A Garden – You may wonder how gardening has anything to do with compassion but gardening is all about compassion. Gardening is tending to the soil with care and patience and being nourished by the harvest, however small or big. If you do not live where you can have a garden, grow some herbs in a windowsill or even taking your children to a farmer’s markets or seasonal fruit orchards.

When children begin to see the work that goes into their meals, where food comes from, and all of the people involved, a feeling of inner connectedness will begin and you have yet another way on how to teach your child compassion.

Compassion comes forth naturally when we develop this awareness.

  1. Choose Books That Have Helping As A Theme – The public library system in the United States must be one of our greatest assets. Utilize this gift to your advantage and ask your librarians to help you find books that will instill the importance of compassion with your children. Books that can tell the story of simple acts that help others and improve the lives of all involved are fun to read for children.
  2. Discover the Spark in Your Child –A book may insight a special desire in children to want to explore and know more about a topic. Compassion soars with wisdom so helping children develop that spark of investigation and discovery is so important. Planning trips to zoos, museums and sporting events can be made that much more special with research done prior to the event.
  3. Establish a Monthly Volunteer Afternoon – Be open and think creatively as to things you and your child may enjoy. Once you find a volunteer activity, be sure to have a conversation afterwards in which you help your child understand the value of the activity you just performed as well as the people that you are helping. Remember, wisdom must be fully engaged for compassion to flourish.
  4. Investigate a Volunteer Vacation – Many retreat centers and non profit organizations have opportunities for free accommodations in exchange for some volunteer work by the family. Some times thinking outside the box can give your family the much needed bonding time while finding just the right opportunities to teach and experience the lessons of compassion.

Our modern world is full of challenges but with the development of compassion, we can foster a feeling of connectedness and peace. Being aware of the gifts we have in our lives, all of the people who help us, and fostering our own practice of service, the world feels safer.

This may lead to ideas that will inspire you and your child to want to help and give you more ways about how to teach your child compassion.

As we change and focus our thoughts on the goodness within ourselves, we can not help but see it within everyone we meet. When we read about a crisis or a child has fears, we can easily calm ourselves and our children, by simply asking, “How can we help, in our own special way.” With an open heart, the right answer is sure to come.

Lisa Sellman  Lisa Sellman is a children’s book author in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Her book, “The Legend of the Wolves of Gunflint Lake” was recently published by Balboa Press and can be purchased from her website, DreamCatcherPress.us. Her book shares the importance of being of service in the community.

She hopes her book will inspire parents and children to discover the gifts of volunteerism for themselves. “When we are aware of how blessed we are in our own life”, Sellman says, “helping others comes naturally. This leads to not only to a fulfilled life but one of knowing how to teach your child compassion.”


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