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Bringing Up Compassionate Children

It is normal for kids to be primal and self centred as they usually have their own needs as their primary concern. In fact there are lots of adults who still have not grown out of it ! LOL. As they grow and develop in a loving family, it’s up to the parents to teach values such as giving, kindness and caring.

When we teach these as parents we try to avoid telling kids they are bad when they are only looking out for themselves because they are not. Instead just direct them to the behaviour you wish them to display e.g. When they grab the last 2 cookies in the jar " Do you think you can share that with your sister"? or "May I please have one and you can have the other"?

Several ways come to mind. We can role model this value. Kids observe how mum and dad treat each other, how we treat our neighbours e.g. my mum used to share our food with an old man next door who had no family, there in was my desire as an adult to care for others from this first memory, give your seat on the MRT or bus to an elderly or disabled person etc. When you do, tell your child "Sometimes others need the seat more than we do".

  • Find ways to model giving and your child will learn quickly. Reinforce this by telling them why you are doing it.
  • Story books! Find stories where kindness is the value and moral of the story. Read together and discuss with your child e.g. "Did you think the boy was kind in this story"? "Would you do the same if it were you"? This discussion will plant seeds of kindness and giving. I used to create stories for my kids and nieces and nephews, you can to!
  • Pets: Kids are so used to being looked after, pets allow them to look out for someone else. I got my boys Goldfish in a small pond as we could not afford a dog or cat due to vet costs. They would wash the bowl out once a week, feed them twice a day etc. It was their responsibility and they loved it! Crazy crabs, mini turtles, pot plants are other things that can instill care for something outside themselves.
  • Volunteer to visit an elderly neighbour, let them partake in baking cupcakes to take to them or some other local dish. "Let’s visit Uncle Tan who has no family and let’s make him something this saturday, what do you think"? Such a good way to teach kids that they are not the centre of the universe all the time!
  • Do something special and small for their maid once a week. It may be singing a song, or helping to make her a cup of tea, or drawing her a picture as an appreciation for her care all through the week.
  • Movies that instill themes of giving, kindness is yet another way! Provided you pause the movie after 20 minutes and talk about some of things in the movie.
  • Find opportunities to get kids to help you out, even if you have a maid helping you with the shopping. Let them carry a small shopping bag home after grocery shopping, help wash the car, tidy their toys, dust out a book shelf etc. There is great value in what may seem like a small task but it for the whole family and not just for themselves. Tell them what a good job they have done after the task is done.

Hope this helps your kids learn heaps from your guidance!!


foreverj Sorry I missed

Sorry I missed your comments, thanks for the feedback :)-

Yeah! for books! I am sure there are many happy and cheerful stories as well out there to motivate children to to fuzzy and warm towards others – Meanwhile, keep hugging and loving your child and in turn she will respond in a compassionate way to others.

Cheers !

hi skippy, wat a great

hi skippy, wat a great article! living the life is probably the best testimony the parent can give to the child. by "walking the walk and talking the talk"! visiting friends/family in the hospital or doing home visitations for people whom society seems to have forgotten etc are simple acts of love and concern parents can easily model for the child.

i find books are great too cos i read so often to my child. stories like the matchstick girl is a powerful and moving story becos the fact that nobody paid any attention to the little girl who was shivering out in the cold resulted in a dead, helpless girl lying motionless outside the next morning, and esp this is a child whom kids can identify with. so sad right?

Children nowadays are

Children nowadays are amazing and wonderful … talented, smart and caring.

Existing Thread

Quote: but remember if we don’t open a chat about it, it’s a pity because there is so much to chat about in the way of values that will enrich and enhance thought provoking issues with our children.


There is an existing thread. We can always continue from there.

Bringing Up Compassionate Children

Midori – Yes, there are many films usually rated G or PG that arrive without an agenda to preach and is entertaining but still has values and morals within the theme. Kids of course will be carried away with the sounds, music and humour and it’s fun for them. Parents can look at the underlying themes and open a discussion over ice-cream and sodas after the film (if you have any $’s left after the popcorn and tickets! LOL). Seems the US is hitting box office success with the presence of values according to the stats, so good for parents!

Shrek – loads in this flick, self acceptance, bonds of friendship and love, overcoming prejudices to name a few.
Gran Torino – self sacrifice for good is far better than revenge; speaks volumes on the effects of bullying on kids.
Kung Fu Panda – there is no occult and anyone can become great (self sacrifice)
Wall-E ; willing to give up his life to save mankind
Star Wars – friendships and supporting each other, believing in good over evil and fighting to maintain it (I read that the writers wrote this so that kids would learn these values)
Wizard of Oz – hey! home is where your happiness is. You already have courage and don’t need to go looking for it, just use it. Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you want to do. Use your own strength…bonds of love and friendship
Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Christian themes of love and acceptance; overcoming difficulties, standing on our own, accepting disappointments, self acceptance and more love and sacrifice – oozes with goodness, just loved it and so did my nieces.
Others are Indiana Jones, Spider Man, Prince Caspian. Have fun but remember if we don’t open a chat about it, it’s a pity because there is so much to chat about in the way of values that will enrich and enhance thought provoking issues with our children.

Wonderful sharing, skippy!

Wonderful sharing, skippy! I like the ideas of model fr story telling, pets, visiting those needed and making small gifts. Thx.   

thanks for sharing.

thanks for sharing.

Bringing Up Compassionate Children

Thanks Zack, not sure what happened, I posted a reply but it did not get delivered! I am new at navigating thru site! Thanks for your feedback. Sounds like you guys are on the right track re your role modelling which is already reaping rewards. Yes !

Bringing Up Compassionate Children

CSU – Nice quote and how true huh?

I agree with you, it’s not easy. To be mindful is to not place unrealistic expectations on not just our children but ourselves as well. Someone once termed it as ‘authentic’ a nice word for just being yourself, the best you possibly can be and nothing more.

Bringing Up Compassionate Children

Your most welcome, glad you liked the suggestions, thank you for your feedback!

Yes we do underestimate what children observe. If science has proved that a child can learn three languages fluently by the age of five, just imagine what they can learn in the way of values? I wanted so much for my children to grow up to be of sound character first and foremost, rather than the a certificate on their walls. However, the sound character got them their certificates, anyway 🙂 Sounds like you are both of the right track with your role modelling which you already have started to observe the rewards ! Yeah !


Dear Skippy

Thank you for sharing!! What you said about some adults are very true..he..he.. 

As parents, we must constantly remind ourselves on our words and actions 

I like all your ideas, especially on books and movies.  My boys relate well to what they read and through watching movies/dramas.   Do you know of any good movies? regards midori 

Hi Skippy Thanks for

Hi Skippy
Thanks for sharing! 

I too believe that every word and action that we do will affect the child perception.

Great quote, csc!

Great quote, csc!


Nice sharing, Skippy. It

Nice sharing, Skippy. It reminds me of a quote I read this morning. "Be what you would have your children to be." It’s as easy or maybe as difficult as that.

Hi Skippy, Thanks! I think

Hi Skippy,

Thanks! I think you have put this across very aptly … Your description on role modelling is so true, becos our kids are observing our every move even if we do not notice it. When we do small things for DS1 which we do not expect any response from him, he would automatically say "Thank You"… My guess is becos both DW and myself always say that to each other for small little things as well.  

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