Compassion is one of the most important values that we can teach our children. And yet, the process of teaching children how to be compassionate can be difficult. After all, there are plenty of mature adults who struggle to accurately define what compassion is – it often gets confused with empathy.
Compassion is a feeling of concern for the wellbeing of others – it’s what motivates us to help when we see someone in need. It differs from empathy in that we understand what the other person is going through and want to help them feel better. If you've never experienced something yourself, it can be hard to empathise with someone who is going through it. But we can always have compassion for others, even if we can't fully understand what they're going through.
Compassion is a virtue that makes the world a better place, and it’s something that everyone can benefit from.
So, how do you go about teaching compassion to children?
When it comes to raising compassionate children, parents often wonder how they can best instil these values in their kids. Examples are a great place to start. A good example of compassionate behaviour is helping someone who is hurt – if you see someone who has fallen down, you can help them up and make sure they are okay.
Another example you can use to teach compassion to a child is standing up for someone who is being bullied. Maybe there is a child at school who doesn't have any friends – you can be their friend and include them in your games. Try sitting down with your child, teaching kids about bullying and discussing these examples.
Games and toys are another fantastic way to teach empathy and compassion to children of all ages. Social skills-based toys like board games, flash cards and chipper chats can all be highly effective in the following ways:
- Providing your child with examples of caring behaviour. For instance, a toy that helps a child learn to care for a baby doll can teach them how to be gentle and nurturing.
- Helping your child understand the feelings of others. For example, a scenario-based flash card game that allows a child to experience what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes can help them develop empathy.
- Helping your child to see the world from other perspectives, by creating hypothetical situations that your child has to navigate as if they were in someone else’s shoes.
Browse our selection of games and toys that teach empathy and compassion
At Fun Stuff Educational & Therapeutic Resources, we supply a vast array of toys and games that are specially designed by industry experts to help children develop compassion and empathy.
As an example, our Feelings Playing Cards offer 15 different games that familiarise kids with a wide range of emotions, allowing them to finish incomplete sentences by picking different feelings, make up stories using feeling cards as characters, pick feeling cards that show how other people look to them, pick feeling cards that show how kids feel at particular times, and more.
Meanwhile, Friendship Island uses fun and engaging techniques to teach children how to make friends and social skills, be a good friend and resolve disagreements in a win-win way. And finally, the Inferencing Chipper Chat is an exciting magnetic chip game that requires children to listen to prompts and point to the pictures that best illustrate these prompts, as well as generate their own answers to inferencing questions.
Use toys and games to teach your children compassion
When we feel compassion for others, it not only makes them feel good, but it also makes us feel good. Science has even shown that when we perform acts of kindness, our brains release chemicals that make us happy.
By encouraging your child to show compassion to others and see how good it will make them feel, you can equip them with the emotional tools to live a more wholesome and fulfilling life.
For more information or to speak with a member of the Fun Stuff team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.