Four Ways to Nurture Compassion In Little Boys
Four Ways to Nurture Compassion In Little Boys!
How often have we heard; ‘boys don’t cry like girls’ or ‘boys are not weak’. It is programming, an inbuilt notion that children are fed from a young age. And no we aren’t blaming parents. But, it is high time we change this notion. It is high time we stop expecting boys to not cry, or break down or just feel sad after a rough day. Because what we fail to realize is that when we teach boys things like ‘boys don’t cry’ or ‘boys are not weak’, we somehow teach them that they are the superior gender. And before we even realize, it affects the ego of boys irrespective of what age they are. Once they begin thinking on the lines that they are superior, they try to dominate, control and sometimes bully the female gender.
It is for this very reason that the need of the hour is to nurture compassion in little boys. Because, if we begin nurturing compassion from a tender age, this compassion will soon become a habit; and they will grow up to be compassionate men.
Mentioned below are four ways to nurture compassion in little boys:
1.Talk about Feelings: Parents are often guilty of hiding their own or making boys hide their feelings. Instead, acknowledge your child’s feelings; and help him label how he is feeling and why he is feeling the way he is. To give children the motivation to talk and to help them open up; parents should have regular conversations where they talk about how they have been feeling. Once this becomes a regular occurrence, slowly your child will open up.
2.Make Compassion Expected: Children will want to help an injured friend or cuddle with a puppy or hug if they are upset. This is because children are already compassionate. So if your child is being compassionate about something, praise him by all means but don’t make it a special treatment. Let the child know at every step of the way that compassion is expected and cherished from all members of the family.
3.Explain Courage: Teach your son that it takes a brave person to be empathetic and kind. Kindness is not a weakness, but a massive strength. Teach him that if he is kind, he is naturally brave. Give examples of philanthropists, sportsmen or even someone you know personally who are giving back to their community through their kindness. Tell stories about kind acts that may have impacted lives.
4.Volunteer: Ask your child to volunteer with you in areas that interest him. If he is passionate about animals, volunteer at a local shelter or even take him on everyday walks to feed food to the neighbourhood street dogs. If he is into sports, collect sports equipment from friends and family and distribute among the needy. You can even ask your child if he would like to spare some of his clothes and toys. You don’t need to take him to the streets to distribute stuff. You can begin right from home by giving to the househelp for his/her family or the building watchman’s family.
Kindness is contagious. Be kind to everyone, because everyone is fighting a battle of their own. Begin with your own house, raise your boys to be not compassionate boys who respect girls. After all, respect is a two-way street.
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." - Dalai Lama