Kids

Compassionate Isn’t Just for Christmas: Practical Ideas for Helping Kids to Care All Year Long

Compassionate Isn’t Just for Christmas: Practical Ideas for Helping Kids to Care All Year Long www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Christine Leeb

When it’s the Christmas season, it’s easy to find opportunities to give and show compassion to those in need.  But compassion isn’t just something we should teach our kids at Christmastime, it’s something we should teach our kids daily.  How do we do that?

  1. Compassion Words: “Shut it, Wrigley!” my youngest shouted at our dog.  Hmmmmm…I wonder where he heard that one?  Guilty!  I shout that at our dog almost daily and my son was listening.  As moms, we have so much influence on what our kids say because our words become their words.  Sometimes it’s precious what our kids repeat and sometimes…not so much!  Our words are powerful and we can use the words that come out of our mouths to teach our kids so many things about life.  We have the opportunity every day by the words we say ourselves to fill our kids with love and compassion towards others.  Here are a few examples of how to fill your kids with Compassion Words:
  • If you hear a baby crying… “Awww…that baby is sad.”
  • If someone gets hurts… “Are you alright? How can I help you?”
  • If you see or hear an ambulance or firetruck… “Oh no! Someone is hurt.  I hope they are ok and that they are getting the help they need.  Let’s pray for them.”
  • If you see a homeless person… “I feel so badly that they don’t have a home.”

 

  1. Compassion Actions: “Actions speak louder than words” is the old saying with so much truth.  Although the words we say have a huge impact on how much compassion our kids have towards others, our actions can make an even bigger impact.  How do we treat others?  Are we helpful and kind?  Are we aware of someone’s needs and find ways to bless others by what we do?  Kids will learn compassion very quickly by how much compassion that we show to others. Here a few examples of how to show our kids Compassion Actions:
  • Hold the door open for someone. 
  • Help an elderly person shovel their driveway or sidewalks or rake their leaves.
  • Bring someone a meal who has had a baby or surgery.
  • Give someone a hug who is sad.
  • Volunteer to serve at a homeless dinner as a family.

 

  1. Compassion Bags: When we see a homeless person, it teaches compassion to say how badly we feel for that person or that our heart breaks that they may be cold or lonely, but couldn’t we then turn our words into actions by also saying, “How do you think we can help him/her?”  And then do something to help them?  A good friend gave me the idea to keep a one-gallon Ziplock bag in my minivan so that when the kids and I see a homeless person, we can hand him/her a bag full of items that would bless them.  What a great action to show kids compassion for a homeless person by giving them things that they may need.  I would recommend having the kids help put the bag together too.  You can always make more than one to keep in the car too, and you can put many different types of items in your bags.  Just make sure that they are non-perishable!  Here is an example of what you can include in your Compassion Bag:
  • Socks
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lotion
  • Bottled water
  • Granola bars
  • Kleenex
  • Deodorant
  • Mouthwash
  • Gloves/hats
  • Throat lozenges

 

  1. Compassion Coins: Each weekend morning, my husband and I and our three kids each put a coin into a homemade, non-Pinteresty, old oatmeal container with a hole cut in the top.  We call it our Compassion Coins container.  (Clever, I know!) We take time to think of others who are less fortunate than we are.  We also share ways that we are grateful for our family and all the ways that we are blessed.  When the container is full, we decide how we can use it to bless someone in need.  I can’t wait to see all the ways we can show compassion towards others with our Compassion Coins.

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Compassion isn’t just for Christmastime.  Compassion needs to be a part of and woven throughout our daily lives.  Compassion isn’t always grand gestures.  Compassion is the little things we do and say.  It’s the little ways we give and serve.  When we have compassion for others, so will our kids.  

Compassion truly starts with us…

About the author

Christine Leeb

Christine Leeb–Speaker and Christian Family Coach specializing in Parenting and Child Discipline.  Founder of Real Life Families–a non-profit organization building better families through free classes and resources.  Mother to three awesome (and exhausting) children from whom she shamefully hides brownies.  Wife to one patient (and polar-opposite) husband with whom she constantly quotes “Friends”.  www.RealLifeFamilies.org