Raising a Compassionate Child

The world can be a rough place, and so can the people in it. Parents have a natural tendency to want to shield their children from the things that might hurt them, but it is important that kids are informed and that they are compassionate people as well. You can’t control what happens in the world on a major scale, but as a parent you can help shape an empathetic and caring individual who can help make it a better place. In this day and age, raising a caring child can be difficult. Shielding children can help save them from some things, but it can also lead to ignorance and arrogance.

As a parent, there are some ways in which you can help make sure that your child becomes a caring individual and who truthfully cares about others as well. Children have an inborn capacity for compassion, which is why it is not uncommon for kids to empathize with other children, animals, and even stuffed toys. It’s important that parents encourage this kind of thinking and behavior, especially when the world can be so harsh, and promoting lovingkindness and other nice sentiments can help.

Showing not Telling
When trying to express softness, some kids can be a bit rough without meaning to. If a young toddler is trying to pet an animal or pick up a baby, their motor skills may not allow them to do so carefully. Instead of telling them not to show affection, show them how to do so in a way that is harmless and thoughtful. Simply telling children “no” can teach them to suppress the desire to express these feelings in the future. Instead of simply telling them “no” if you see them approaching a situation clumsily, commend their thoughtful behavior and show them how to act on those thoughts properly and carefully.

Speaking Softly
Sometimes, showing basic manners can go a long way. Speaking softly and showing kindness can help, especially if you act as an example for your children. Whether you’re talking to your kids or others in front of your kids, it is important that you set a good example and show compassion, thoughtfulness and understanding yourself. Kids learn by observing, so setting a precedent can certainly leave a lasting impression.

Encourage Helping
Whether you’re asking your children to help out with chores or pointing out ways in which they can generally be helpful, encouraging kids to get involved can be influential too. If kids are used to pitching in, especially if it is part of their daily routine, offering help to others when they see that they are struggling can come more naturally to them. You can also point situations where people may need help or could use a hand, and ask your kids how they can help and why they should. Inspiring this kind of discourse can help kids think critically and compassionately as they get older and develop thoughts and opinions on their own.

The Power of Stories
Sharing stories can be incredibly influential, and there are plenty of books that kids can pick up about people who have helped others in history. Aside from reading, share stories and anecdotes of your own as well. If you witnessed a kind act, share it with your child. If you notice someone doing something nice for someone else while you’re at the park or out shopping, point it out and ask your child what they think about it.

Helping Out Beyond the House
Volunteering is a great way to introduce kids to a larger world and the things that people can do to help make it a better place. Whether you’re helping collect food, toys for children, or picking up litter, giving kids a physical example of helping others can show them the benefits of kindness, compassion and taking action as well.

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Why You Should Read Classic Tales to Your Children

There is no shortage of classic tales, and versions of them, to choose from when reading to your child. It may seem like a no-brainer to share classic fairy tales and other stories with your children, especially since many of them have also been made into live-action or animated movies that have become classics. Aside from tradition itself, there are some benefits to sharing these stories with your kids and they can have a lasting impact on their lives as well.

Cultural Importance
One of the most important reasons to read classic tales to children is for the cultural impact. Many different countries and cultures share similar fairy tales, and each one has differences and twists that speak to their unique cultural values and traditions. Sharing specific tales with your kids can help expose them to their own culture, depending on where you and your family are from, and it can also help introduce your kids to the cultural traditions from around the world. This can be an eye-opening experience and help kids learn more about other people and places, while potentially opening the door to an interest in learning about other cultures as well.

Active Imaginations
Speaking of eye-opening, fairy and folk tales can help inspire children to use their imaginations. Having a vivid imagination is linked to creativity but it is also directly linked to abstract thinking, understanding new concepts and learning new things. Kids who have active imaginations are more capable of thinking outside the box and are more likely to be creative when it comes to solving problems or approaching challenges.

Critical Thinking Skills

Many psychologists agree that fairy tales and similar stories can help to improve the critical thinking skills of developing children. By examining the actions and consequences that affect the characters, children can make inferences and learn about cause and effect. They can also develop an understanding of how all decisions and choices have outcomes, and that the nature of these decisions and choices can direct the outcome of a story or a person’s life overall.

Moral Tales of Caution
Many classic tales also have rather clear-cut concepts of right and wrong. Many of these stories have been used as tales of caution for children specifically through the years, and much of the moral take-away remain in many of these stories. Things like talking to strangers, trusting others, asking questions and other good things to keep in mind are also stressed in these tales often, and can help act as an example when trying to teach kids valuable lessons and develop key skills that will help keep them safe and smart.

Pure Fun
Most importantly of all, classic tales are enjoyable. There is a reason they have remained a part of our oral and written culture for so long, and all over the world. There will always be new interpretations and new spins on old stories, so having some familiarity with the classics can be good fun but can also help open kids up to a whole world of imagination and entertainment.

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Common Complaints Kids Have About School and How To Combat Them

For many children, school takes up a good chunk of their young lives, and much of their attention and brain-power as well. Each child will have their own unique school experiences, and of course their own opinions and feelings about school. It may feel disheartening for some parents to hear their children complaining about something they may not have too much control over, but there are ways in which parents can help by simply listening.

Obstacles and Challenges
Kids are learning new things every day, and sometimes children can feel overwhelmed by not only the information that they are expected to learn and understand, but the tasks, assignments and necessary studying that they need to complete as well. Depending on how old your child is and what grade they are in, the problem may differ. Younger children may not be able to vocalize the exact source of their frustration, but it helps to weigh in with their teacher about it. Your child may be distracted, fidgety, or have another problem such as a learning or attention deficit problem that needs to be addressed. Sometimes it could be something as simple as who they are sitting next to or how much energy they have. For older children, finding the root cause may be easier. Your child may be able to point out a specific topic, homework assignment, skill or concept that is difficult for them. From there, you can set up supplemental study sessions, look into buying supplementary material, go to the library with them, or have them enrolled in after-school tutoring or study-buddy programs to help.

Teacher Woes
Hearing that your child does not like their teacher can be tricky. It’s important that you ask your child to explain where their dislike or frustration comes from because this will help you reach a solution. Maybe the teacher assigns too much homework, or has the class participate in activities or games that your child may not be fond of. If the issue is more personal, then it is important that you look into the matter further by setting up a meeting with the teacher and another school administrator. It’s important that parents gain some perspective and get the teacher’s point of view before moving forward with a solution in order to avoid any misunderstandings or other problems.

Morning Maladies
Though children tend to get up earlier than teenagers, not every child is the same, and some kids may have difficulties finding the energy to get ready and go to school in the morning. Feeling a little grumpy and groggy is normal – and let’s admit adults would rather shut their alarm clock up than actually get ready for work in the morning. But some kids may be especially tired, unhappy and unfocused in the morning. This can prevent them from doing well in school because they are not capable of giving their complete attention, but it can also be the sign of something more serious.

First, parents should examine their evening/bedtime, morning/wakeup routine. There may be a reason why your child isn’t sleeping well, causing them to get inadequate rest. But while tiredness can come from not sleeping well, it can also be the result of not eating well, too. Making sure that your children eat a balanced diet is vital, but many kids, and adults, fail to eat complete breakfasts due to busy schedules. Make sure you and your family are getting the sleep and the nutrients you need.

It’s important that parents listen to what their children have to say, and if they are complaining about something it is important that you find the root cause before telling them to do anything or jumping to conclusions about it. Some kids may have legitimate issues and complaints. Other children may be using complaints to cover up other problems, such as issues with classmates or even a learning disorder that they may not understand or feel embarrassed of. If you hear your child complaining about school, it’s important that you listen but also that you investigate the cause.

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