Opportunities to Teach Compassion

Brought my 8 years old son to take a bus to a mall a few stops away from our house.

Two of us were seated.  Son noted an inch worm crawling on my arm and alerted me (might have crawled / dropped onto me while waiting under the tree next to the bus stop).  I swept the worm gentle down to the floor (never to kill).

Son observing it inching itself forward in an interesting manner on the floor.

Son: Mum, what will happen to this creature?

Me: What do you think?

Son: Someone may accidentally step on it and kill it.

Me: Yah, I think so. Even if no one steps on it, it may also die because this bus is not its natural habitat.

Son: So poor thing.

Me: (pause for him to carry on)

Son: Can you give me a piece of paper?

Me: For?

Son: I want to pick it up and drop it on a plant.

Me: (trying to fish paper from my bag. Couldn’t find any and gave him a name card of a supplier).

Son: (bent to try to get the inch worm up the card but worm was crawling further away that his short hand couldn’t reach). Mum, I can’t reach it.

Me: We are alighting at the next bus stop and you may have to forego your rescue effort.

Son: (quickly got off from his seat and went to the seat behind to get the worm from there.) I got it!

Mission accomplished and we alighted from the bus and he put the worm on a plant.

Son: I am so happy that I save the life of an animal today!

Me: Yah, mum thinks the inch worm is thankful of you too!

Son: (face radiating with joy)

PS:  I didn’t go into more detail discussions with him about whether the worm will survive on that plant or not or need to go back to its original habitat or whether sending it to the plant is ‘fair’ to the plant or not (since it will eat the plant). My incidental lesson stopped at seeing him showing some compassion to little life today…

PS2: He wrote this incident down in his journal after we returned and showed it to his dad and kor kor who both praised him for being a ‘hero’… hahaha…

thanks for sharing

thanks for sharing

 Your son is cute.

 Your son is cute.

Insider, u're a GREAT mother

Insider, luv reading yr sharing stories with relate to the teachings of yr children. You are indeed a great mother who imparts all these valuable teachings to yr children.

juz like the saying, Mother is the First teacher to the child, who plays a great role in a child’s life.

Errm, I'm not really a fan

Hey buds,

Errm, I’m not really a fan of creepy crawlers leh …..

Maybe dw can volunteer hehe. She dares to catch cockroaches with her bare hands. As for me, I use Baygon.



Emotional Devt

Think I can extend my sharing a bit further here.

Some parents find the concept of ’emotional development’ a bit vague, as to what real ‘benefits’ it actually can bring to a child.

From this incidence, my son shows his sense of compassion, which is not possible if he does not use his sense of empathy.  With these, he needs to summon his courage to be ‘brave’ and ‘strong’ to help the little creature.  He would never know he actually has this courage to handle a worm by himself if his sense of compassion is not there.  In a way, his sense of compassion let him discover a bit more about his ‘potentials’ – that he can do it and fears many times can be unfounded and obstructing feelings towards goals.

In summary, emotional development in kids are more important than teaching kids mostly on textbooks hard facts.  With empathy (through little learnings such as respecting the life of a little creature), my kids know what will make me happy and what will make me sad = unlikely they will do things that they know will hurt my feelings (further meaning they are likely to study on own coz mum will definitely be pleased with that = no direct ‘forcing’ is necessary = all in the family benefit).

Emotional development – the returns are intangible with a possibility of a ‘tangible’ straight As child as a ‘bonus’ (my eldest daughter just informed me she has a perfect GPA of 4.0 for her last semester work).



Hi ANobleNerd and

Hi ANobleNerd and markfch

There are many things that we can share with the children, only if our hearts are calm enough to observe and listen to the little things around us…

The thing that I feel 安慰 for my young son about this little incidence is actually he went to pick up the worm despite having a fear of it; the way that I saw him having to conquer his own fear within 60 seconds in order to do the thing that he feels is right.

The whole family has the ‘habit’ of picking up snails, big or small, back to a plant if any of us discover a snail stray into path.  His siblings are setting good examples for him not to step and kill lives unnecessarily and if we can, we should always help the weak ones.  His siblings are responsible to ‘lecture’ him while I listen.  Hahaha…good to have these ‘mini parents’ around him. That’s one of the reasons why I feel raising kids are not so difficult coz if you can train the first one right, the second one will be 50% of the original effort, the third one will be 25%, etc, etc.

Have fun raising your little ones and enjoy them while they are still young!

Full / Empty Nest

Hi buds,

having this youngest one 9 years away from his next oldest sibling is one of the best things that had ever happened to me.  Now my ‘nest’ will not be empty so fast.  By the time this 8 years old is ready to fly solo, by then maybe I can get to take care of a grand child from my two elder ones oredi…

I love children.  They ‘train’ me to be a much better person and bring so much joy to me…



Quick, markfch!

Quickly markfch! Get an inchworm and put it on your shoulder! I’m eager to hear what your ds reaction would be.. Heheheh.. *evil*


Agree with ANobleNerd. I

Agree with ANobleNerd. I believe that in 9 out of 10 cases, a child is a reflection of his/her parents. To me, that means that you’re also a compassionate person at heart. Some people who have just brush it off and forget about the whole thing.

This got me curious. I wonder how my ds’s behaviour will be like?



I was smiling...

 …when I read this.

I really like how it’s the little incidences that make an impact on our kids’ learning, rather than the usual having to create a huge project to teach a value.

Being prepared to point out values like compassion without even a mention of the word compassion is usually the best way to get our children to imbibe the value.

I’m thinking about how some schools have to organise trips for their kids to do community service work in order to transmit values like compassion, but because of the size of the group, it’s not unusual if it’s a hit-and-miss affair.

That said, you used an opportunity presented to you because I suspect that you’re the type of person to whom values like compassion is on the forefront of your mind, and therefore, your son was ready to pick this up from you.  If you were not the person you are, it’s unlikely your son would be the hero he is. 😉


He sure is a hero, insider… Kudos for this teachable moment which i am sure will lead to more of these similar moments. 🙂 The only victim here is not the inchworm unfortunately, but also the supplier… who may never get your orders at all! LOL!

PS : On a separate note… his existence sure makes you feel younger and needed… for your other children have now all grown up. Nice feeling isn’t it?


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