Compassion is the quality of being sensitive to other people’s pain and misfortune. When you nurture your child’s compassion, you help them sympathize and empathize with other people, spurring their desire to help. Read on to discover 3 ways to encourage your child’s compassion.

1. Set a Positive Example

No matter how you try to raise a compassionate child, you must set a positive example with your own actions. Your generosity, concern for others, and willingness to listen provide a model for your child to naturally learn from.

Speak with a kind and encouraging voice to your child. Understand that no matter the mood your child is in, they are capable of being a kind person. Stay calm and considerate of your child to model your best behaviors.

2. Praise Kind Behavior

Another way to encourage your child’s compassion is to talk to them about kindness. You can have these conversations at any time about real-life or playtime scenarios.

Observe your child’s interactions with other people and praise kind behavior. Let your child know how their compassion benefits others and themself, too.

One of the primary reasons children love stuffed animals is playing with these soft toys helps them nurture kindness. Playing can consist of activities like dressing the toy, feeding the toy, and talking to the toy. When you see your child behaving kindly to their toys, let them know.

3. Help Them See Other Points of View

When we see situations from someone else’s point of view, we understand other people’s thoughts and behaviors better. In turn, we can become more patient, caring, and calm. Recognizing other people’s viewpoints is a key component of compassion.

When your child reads a book or watches a show, ask them how the characters feel and why they feel that way. Help your child understand cues such as body language, facial expressions, and the characters’ word choice.

In personal interactions, you can help strengthen your child’s compassion during tense times. If your child does something hurtful to someone else, you can calmly ask your child how they would feel if someone did the same thing to them. Then, ask how they can make the situation better.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”
~Maya Angelou~