Good health, intellect, and happiness are often on the top of parental wish lists when it comes to raising kids. But you must also prioritize teaching them moral values to strengthen their core. Empathy is crucial as it enables your child to feel compassion and gives them the willingness and courage to step and help others. But it is easier said than done because kids are wired to be selfish. Not doing your bit to cultivate empathy in them will make them even more selfish as adults. You can embrace some good practices from a young age to help your kids learn the power of compassion. Here are some tried and tested parenting rules to raise empathic children.
Validate different emotions
Children must understand their emotions and accept that they cannot always stick with the positive ones. Negative emotions are an inherent part of life, and tagging them is the last you should do as a parent. In fact, you must help your kids to build coping strategies to deal with the gray feelings. Validate the positive and negative emotions and encourage your child to process them as it enables them to embark on the path of right.
As a parent, you want to protect your children from all negativity, but it is hardly possible. Kids see and hear about cyberbullying, substance abuse, and school shootings every day. But you must avoid shielding them from sad stories in an effort to preserve their innocence. Having open conversations about tragic events and global issues fosters empathic thinking. Engage in meaningful and age-appropriate discussions to plant the seeds of compassion.
Besides having open conversations about empathy, you must give relatable examples. Narrate stories, read books, and show movies highlighting the value of compassion. You can even plan a visit to a Carmelite monastery where they can understand the values of Wyoming Carmelites in person. Carmelites devote their lives to praying, charity, and austerity. They can inspire your children to be more empathic and compassionate.
Parents are often the role models for their children, so you can inspire them to imbibe values by demonstrating them yourself. But it is often challenging to slow down and focus on empathy amid the race of life. As an adult, you may always feel short on time and patience. But you must consciously try staying calm when you encounter frustrating moments. Demonstrating empathy in your day-to-day life makes you a better person and helps your kids develop a sense of right and wrong.
Lead with action
Think beyond demonstrating kindness at home, and step out to lead with action. From random acts of kindness to volunteering to help others, pick thoughtful ways to instill empathy in your children. Ask kids to follow with age-appropriate acts of kindness, such as helping an elderly neighbor by carrying groceries or raking leaves. Encourage them to donate their clothes, toys, and books as it enables them to feel the joy of giving.
Raising empathic kids starts by embracing empathy as a parent. Bring changes within and follow these easy tips to achieve the goal of compassionate parenting.
Note: This is a collaborative post