5 Easy Ways to Show Compassion Toward Children
Children need food, drink, sleep and air. Ok, we know this. But do we know that they also naturally need love and compassion?
Imagine a home without compassion – a home where children are often smacked and rebuked. This can lead them to grow up to be violent human beings who eventually mess up the security of our whole society.
We can end a lot of evil by choosing to be kinder and more compassionate toward our children.
Compassion toward children also has many other positive outcomes for both parents and children. It helps parents feel less stressed, increases children’s self-esteem, and improves parent-child relationships.
Being loving to our children is part of fitrah, anyway. That’s why we are not enjoined to care for them. It comes naturally. (It’s supposed to come naturally.) But Islam requires children to care for their parents and warns against disobeying them because it may not be as natural for children to do so.
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) kissed al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali when al-Aqra’ ibn Haabis al-Tameemi was sitting with him. Al-Aqra’ said: I have ten children and I have never kissed one of them. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5651) and Muslim (2318).
Being nice to and showing compassion to children makes them develop a sense of self-esteem. They feel good about themselves. They feel like they are worthy and deserving of love, kindness and good treatment.
So… How can we show compassion toward our children?
1. Show Empathy.
One of the most powerful ways to show compassion toward children is by showing empathy. This means being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand what they’re feeling. Parents who show empathy towards their children are better at communicating with them, helping them solve problems, and encouraging them to do well in school.
My kids think I’m not such a great listener. I find it hard to pay attention to what they’re saying when I’m driving, working or doing any other thing. I don’t know how other women multitask, but it’s not the easiest thing for me to do.
But, another way to show compassion towards children involves listening to them. It’s easy to think that we know what our kids need because we’re parents ourselves. But, we won’t really know until we try to really listen to our children and ask questions to find out what they need.
3. Give Praise.
One of the easiest ways to show compassion toward children is by giving praise. Praising your child shows them that you care about them and that you value them as individuals. This will help them feel good about themselves and build self-esteem. Of course, we don’t want to praise them excessively. We praise them whenever they do something we want them to do more of and we praise them in public and private.
4. Teach Responsibility.
Another way to show compassion towards children would be to teach them responsibility. Overly pampering them is not a great thing to do. Teaching them how to take care of themselves and others will make them better prepared for life.
5. Set Boundaries.
Setting boundaries with kids is an essential part of being a good parent. It helps children understand what is appropriate behavior and what isn’t. Since Allaah, the All-Knowing, has set boundaries for our own good, it is necessary to teach our children about these boundaries. They can then learn to protect themselves from evil, in this world and in the Hereafter. If you set limits early on, then your child will be less likely to act out when he or she gets older.
Compassion can only be taught through action. We can talk for hours about compassion, but if we can’t SHOW our children compassion, they will find it hard to grasp what compassion really means.
How can a child grow up to be kind and righteous if they are often smacked and rebuked? How can they show compassion to other living beings if they themselves weren’t shown compassion?
Let’s raise children with compassion that they can pass on to the world.
Because children don’t come with a manual, it can be challenging to be a proactive, thriving parent. Check out this simple, yet powerful, FREE 30-Day Islamic Parenting checklist, with gentle reminders and hands-on tips focused on quality interactions with your children.