Raising Compassionate Children

 

As a grandmother of five wonderful children, you know I worry and fret sometimes (actually..... lots of the time!) But, I am blessed with two kids who are excellent parents....and who believe the world is an awesome place. That's where the right attitude beginsWe never considered that the world was cruel. But sadly, people can be cruel and heartless.

 My grandkids  have learned to be bully proof and lock-down safe and how to dial 911 in emergencies. What is difficult to learn......and best taught by example.....is compassion. Standing up for the underdog, recognizing the difference between good natured teasing and bordering on meaness, how to read people, but not judge. 

I'm 100 percent behind the above statement in that we can make a diffference by teaching children how to handle difficult people, uncomfortable situations and unexpected changes or events. Just as we teach personal safety and responsibility, we need to teach kids How.To. Deal. Adults face things everyday; ever wonder if you could have handled it differently? Better? A bit too quick with a smart remark? Judgemental of the poorly dressed or of the Important Person cutting to the front of the line? When I was younger, my mom would say "oh, maybe they have an emergency or what if Daddy's defibrillator went off again?" We'd need to hurry, yes. "The poor people may be down and out ....but still deserve our respect" she'd often say.
My point is...we can teach them to handle difficulties and conflicts they will encounter, but in ways that don't add to the conflict. They can assert themselves firmly, strongly...and still remain pleasant. We've all encountered rude, careless, or clueless people. Ever order at the drive-thru....they repeat it back to you wrong; you correct it (sometimes repeatedly) and often end up driving away with the wrong order anyway. This is a prime spot for kids to observe how YOU deal. Same with traffic; "keep calm and......" fits just about every scenario, don't you think?
Easier said than done, I know. But as the eldest sibling, teacher, mom and grandma....child advocate if you will....I've learned first hand that it begins with US! My father-in-law often repeated the words of an old quote. The line I most recall; "it is still a beautiful world!"

Previously linked to Say It Saturday at familyhomeandlife.com and the Grand Social on Grandmasbriefs.com; two great resources for recipes, inspiration and humor!

12 comments:

  1. Beautifully expressed. Absolutely! And from one teacher to another - 100% !
    As you do, I particularly value compassion...to others, to animals. It begins early in life and is best learned when modeled by significant adults in a child's life.
    Some suggest that home life should acquaint children with losing and being overlooked at times. True. But this is the sole area where I, as a grandma, part company with the professionals. No, life isn't fair - except at grandmas! That's the ONE place where every child should win, get unlimited turns, earn praise to the point of foolishness, and find everything pointed out in toy catalogs under the tree! Maybe this isn't the best way to develop "character," but there's plenty of other places for kids to learn that stuff!

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  2. Wise grandma you are! Great quote that I need to remember (and will be pinning when through with this comment). Compassion is key, no matter the situation, no matter the person we're watching, interacting with, modeling, or admiring. Thank you for the reminder that, YES, it does begin with us!

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  3. Thank you, Lisa and J.
    I sound soapboxish here.....but strong feelings beget strong writing I guess!
    I like your point, J....that kids should beable to enjoy their innocence and carefree days as long as possible; with spoiling and pampering thrown in when you can! :)
    And your reminder, Lisa....that compassion holds true for those in our charge as well!
    I appreciate the feedback and your loyal following!
    Joan

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  4. I sure hang out with some very wise Grandmothers! This is a great post and something we do have to remember is that we are always setting an example for them -- let it be a good one, a kind one, an understanding and sympathetic one.

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    1. Great advice, Kc! Thanks to super Grandpa for helping me with the Littles today! He is learning to help pleasantly himself when they get wild and crazy and Gma loses control! LOL

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  5. This is a wonderful post reminding us all that grandchildren are like sponges and absorb what they are surrounded by. Our grandchildren will definitely need to be able to balance compassion for their fellow man while observing safety guidelines in our complex society. Spreading the idea of being compassionate can only make for a happier life which is what we all wish our grandchildren. :-)

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    1. As I learned today; sometimes we do have to spell it out for them! But seeing G & G work together to corral them and ask them to have compassion for us made them stop and think and show their sweet selves again!
      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!
      Joan

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  6. Great post! I love it, and it is so true....I know I want to be a model for my gkids and yet it can be so very hard when I am tired, or ill, and they are with me ALL the time. I feel I let them down so much, yet I pray they will remember that I can be fun, energetic, and most of all that I had compassion. Thanks for linking with me.

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    1. I know it's hard sometimes, Connie..so I'm glad Grandpa has my back at those times!I pray for the same things.....and hopefully the good times outweigh those moments of frustration and crabbiness!

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  7. "ever wonder if you could have handled it differently? Better?" Those aren't the times that bother me. It's the ones where I know damn well I should have done better; stood silent when I should have spoken, said things when I should have stood silent; acted when...etc. etc. Guess I'm gonna keep on being a work in progress for a while yet. Anyway, loved your post; now if we could just get five billion more people to agree. :)

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    1. I wished I'd bit my tongue so many times by not staying quiet...by saying something unpleasant or uncalled for. I know what you mean. I like the idea of just telling them I'm a work-in-progress:be quick to apologize and that I'll try to do better. That in itself is a lifetime skill they'll need!
      Going to repost this from time to time....try to get it out there!
      Thanks for reading and for your kind words!
      Joan

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  8. Now there's a teachable moment--there are so many in any given day and of course, hindsight is 20/20. Parents do the best they can, but this thoughtful post raises some good points. Kids do learn what they see, that much is clear!

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