Would you like to raise a compassionate child?
If so, you are not alone. Fortunately, research tells us that kindness and empathy are qualities your child can learn. Practicing kindness gives children better mental and physical health, builds stronger relationships, and helps develop a higher sense of self-worth. These sure-fire tips will make caring for others (and our planet) an everyday habit in your family.
Pitch in. Helping with chores is your child’s first lesson in contributing to the common good. Doing chores teaches kindness, responsibility, teamwork, independence, and respect. Research says that children who begin helping early (by age 3 or 4), are more likely to be successful as adults. Use this fun template to get started.
Tidy your neighborhood. Let your child see you caring for your surroundings. Carry a small trash bag on your neighborhood walks. Move leaves and debris away from storm sewers to keep water moving during storms. When hiking, leave wilderness spots cleaner than how you found them. Talk often about the importance of caring for the planet.
Spread good cheer. Lots of people are isolated and lonely right now. Spread cheer by creating “happy” mail for seniors, hospitalized children, Meals on Wheels recipients, our troops, and others. Use our thank you flyer to get started.
Share with others. Host a kindness cleanup. Many people would benefit from receiving things that you no longer use. Talk to your child about the importance of giving to others, and encourage your child to donate any books, toys, clothes, sports equipment, or other materials they no longer use.
Doing Good Together, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit, has dozens of other fun, free ideas to help you raise a compassionate child.