Teaching Compassion

keeping in mind three underlying processes of social skills: seeing, thinking, and doing

Use moments when your child expresses emotion to teach about that emotion:

You feel…”

I understand you were embarrassed when I said that if front of your sister.”

This looks like it must hurt your feelings.”

“You’re frustrated right now because we are late for the game.”

“You were sad when I told you “no”.

This time you decided it wasn’t worth getting angry, and you finished your assignment in a timely fashion. You must be relieved.”

Use moments with other children or animals:

“The puppy cries whenever we leave it. What do you think we could do?”

“You see the dog is wagging its tail when it sees its owner. What do you think the dog is feeling?” 

“That child over there just struck out with the bases loaded. Now he has his head down. What do you think he feels?” 

“You just said it seems as if your stomach has butterflies. What feeling is that?” 

“After studying hard, you complained of a stomachache. Sometimes stomachaches are a sign that someone is nervous. Are you?”

“What could someone say that would make you feel angry? Sad? Happy? Disgusted? Worried? What sensations would you feel in your body if you felt any of those emotions?”

Encourage identification of emotions and acts of compassion:

“You let her play with your doll because you saw that she was sad. That was kind of you.”


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