Today’s post is a part of my linky party called Make A Difference Monthly. Each month I write about a specific character trait to share ideas on how parents, teachers and other caregivers can teach traits to children. I began this linky party back in April. Check out the last few months of traits and ideas to go along with them. I encourage bloggers to link up (below). The more people blog about these important character traits, the more people will read about how easy they can be taught to children and in return a greater number of children out there in the world will be equipt with these important tools to use out in the world!

Compassion is defined as The deep feeling of sharing the suffering of another, together with the need to give aid and support.

Just recently my girls and I were waiting in line for something when a little girl next to my big kid started to cry. The look on my girl’s face was panic, like she didn’t know what to do to help this little girl. Then she started to cry. Silent tears spilling over her cheeks. Then, to no surprise, my eyes started to well up. This is what I think of when I hear the words empathy, putting yourself in someone’s shoes to feel how they are feeling. Compassion takes it one step further with the action of doing something to help that person who is upset. Following are a few quotes on the importance of parents teaching their children about compassion (there is also a video that discusses this below).

The Dalai Lama emphasizes how important it is for children to experience compassion from their caregivers from birth.

Caron Goode, founder of the Academy for Coaching Parents International, notes that compassion is first learned at home. She says to talk about the benefits of compassion and how good it feels to care for others with your children early on.

Five Ways to Teach Compassion

1. Teach Your Children HOW to Listen

Encourage Kanji Listening, active listening with your mind, heart, eyes, ears, and attention. This is probably the most important aspect of compassion – just listen.

2. Model

Be compassionate yourself and model it to your children. You are their very first examples until you send them off to school or daycare. Make the difference in your home by being the person you want your child to look up to!

3. Volunteer

Volunteer with your family. Teaching compassion for the earth and animals is one way you can volunteer and it would be age appropriate for young children.

4. Stories

Read stories or tell stories you hear about in the news that illustrate compassion. Stay tuned later on this month for books that have characters who are compassionate.

5. Play A Game

That’s right, play a game with someone who is lonely. Call a senior home and see if you and your family can come in and play board or card games with seniors. It’s a great way to a difference in someone’s life who might not have a lot of loved ones visiting.

Read more: Compassion Activities for Grade School Kids | and

Bloggers, please link up your ideas on teaching compassion!