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Walking Alongside Children as They Form Compassion

by Wendy Hinrichs Sanders
May/June 2010
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/walking-alongside-children-as-they-form-compassion/5019350/

Two four-year-olds were playing Pizza Restaurant in the dramatic play area. One child was tripping over the untied strings on his apron. Another girl tied the apron strings for him, saying, "There you go."
— Theresa Rios

A child I was observing was sitting by another child whose head was hanging. 'My child' put her arm around the child and said, "Qué pasa?" ("What is wrong?") — Allison Pike

Freddie offered his own special toy to another child who was showing distress. — Julia Urias

Cali was putting a puzzle together. A friend sitting next to her was having trouble with her own puzzle. Cali said, "This goes here," and went back to her own puzzle. — Connie Vargas

These are typical day-to-day expressions of compassion among preschoolers. Do we make the most of these opportunities to facilitate compassion?

The affluence in the United States in the recent past has made it tempting to indulge children in individual achievement within a culture of abundance. Parents and teachers worry over how to teach compassion in a culture of abundance and competition for personal success, where children's time is over-scheduled and they are geographically dispersed from their extended families.

Recent economic impacts ...

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