We already know our children are sponges. Even before they are born, they react to stimulus and sounds.
When you think about it, from the time they are born, everything is new to them. They have no preconceived notions of how they should act, what they should say and so on.
They compile every experience, every action, and every word or sentence they hear to create and shape who they want to be.
For the first part of their lives, and the most important part developmentally, they observe us parents. What we say and how we act is observed and many times mimicked by our children.
As they get older, start attending school and get involved in activities, they pick up on others’ behaviors. Then you add in social media and the news and they are bombarded with videos and clips of more behaviors.
Establishing a strong foundation of love and compassion is important for our children. To learn that it’s okay to be different, have different opinions, and to respectfully agree or disagree.
How do we do this?
By reacting with love and compassion instead of blame or consequences. Don’t get us wrong, if rules were broken, consequences should still be enforced, but in a loving way, not an angry or heat-of-the moment way.
By teaching tolerance, not violence.
By communicating with our children and letting them communicate with us.
By showing compassion to others who need it most instead of turning a blind eye.
By taking the time to understand someone’s motives before jumping to conclusions.
If we can start teaching more love and compassion, we may be able to start uniting more people instead of segregating them.
TKD Tip: In addition to the words we speak, our tone, facial expressions and body language also speak volumes to little ones watching. Make sure you’re sending your kids clear messages and leading by example.
Parent/Child Activity: Sit down with your child(ren) and discuss what it means to have compassion. Take turns telling each other of ways to be compassionate towards others.