COMPASSION: Considerate and respectful of self, others, and the world around us
Why it’s important:
One of the main benefits to cultivating compassion in your child’s life is that research shows that being compassionate builds happiness and happiness is contagious. Scientific studies also suggest there are physical benefits to practicing compassion — people who practice it produce 100 percent more DHEA, a hormone that counteracts the aging process, and 23 percent less cortisol, the “stress hormone.”
How it can be developed at home:
(Adapted from Charlotte Reznick, Ph.D., etc.)
Make a Gratitude List - This is especially helpful for turning the tide when a child is feeling down. Even a short list of a couple "I'm grateful for's" can make a difference. Have them write the whole sentence out: "I am grateful for this new day." "I am grateful my brother didn't punch me on the way to school." "I am grateful my parents love me." You get the idea...
Offer Kindness Each Day - Suggest a child do one kind act a day for another. Helping others gets those feel-good juices going. Suggest that they surprise a friend or family member with a gracious act. Or suggest doing something kind without anyone knowing. Ask them, how does that feel?
Talk to Yourself - Nicely - Sometimes we have to practice talking positively about ourselves and others. Have children think of one or two nice things to say about themselves, family members, and friends. They can make an ongoing list and stick it on the fridge as a reminder.
Participate in Community Service with your Child - Volunteer with your child to help build a trail, work in a soup kitchen, pick up trash, or even volunteer at Basalt Middle School. Middle school students are watching and listening more than we think. That’s why it’s important that we…
Walk the Talk - Simply talking about compassion is not enough. A recent study found that while 96% of parents say they want to raise ethical, caring children, 80% of students reported parents were more concerned about achievement than caring for others. Whether you’re volunteering in the community or talking on the phone, model compassion and be aware of what’s called the “rhetoric/reality gap.”
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