Planting Seeds of Compassion
“Be Nice.” we send my children off to school everyday with these words of wisdom. These words come naturally to our lips, so does “play fair”, “honesty is the best policy”, and all the other phrases that were repeated to us as a child. It’s become a habit. But as the words flow out, we do not always think about what they actually mean. We do not always contemplate the impact of these words and what they mean to our children. However, given the importance they deserve, these words can inspire our offspring to a lifetime of caring enough to not only co-exist with others, but to actively help the less fortunate and improve their communities. We are planting the seeds of compassion now in the hopes of reaping kind and contributing adults.
It starts at birth. From the moment we hold each of them in our arms for the first time to now, we should always try to instill in them the importance of love and compassion. Babies need a strong, loving bond with a caregiver, whether it is a mother, a father, a grandparent or another adult. By quickly responding to their cries and learning what their needs are, whether it is a clean diaper, a hug, a drink or just reassurance, we are teaching them that we care and love them and that we are there for them no matter what. The older they get the more our babies seem to understand. The lessons become bigger and have greater meaning.
Young children are like sponges. As our infant become toddlers, they see and soak up all that is around them. They see our actions and mimic everything we do. Just like a one year old will copy his parents typing away on a keyboard, they will also copy our social behaviors. It is important that we become models of kindness for our children to mimic. When we let an elderly person cut in line at the grocery store, we are teaching our children kindness. We are models of compassion by being nice and understanding to our spouses at home. Children are in fact a product of their...