Teaching children compassion

As some of you know, I am on the board of the Kids’ Compassion Project. In preparation for a recent event, I wanted to create a discussion guide to briefly explain to parents how to teach children to be compassionate. You’d think after this much advanced training, I could hammer out a few bullet points (ha!). I’m still chewing on this but here’s what I know so far.

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Recommended reading: we're helping our kids too much, but it's easy to change!

Source material: Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, M.Ed.

First description here: http://www.imfcanada.org/simplicity-parenting

And adapted here: http://raisedgood.com/extraordinary-things-happen-when-we-simplify-childhood/

"Payne describes the four pillars of excess as having too much stuff, too many choices, too much information and too much speed.

When children are overwhelmed they lose the precious down time they need to explore, reflect and release tension. Too many choices erodes happiness, robbing kids of the gift of boredom which encourages creativity and self-directed learning. And most importantly “too much” steals precious time....

So, how do we as parents protect our kids in this new “normal” society has created? Simple, we say no. We protect our kids and say no, so we can create space for them to be kids. No, Sam can’t make the birthday party on Saturday. No, Sophie can’t make soccer practice this week. And we recreate regular down time providing a sense of calm and solace in their otherwise chaotic worlds."