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Nurturing Children’s Innate Compassion
March 16, 2021
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Wendy Hinrichs Sanders, in an article that forms the basis for an Out of the Box Training Kit, "Cultivating Compassionate Classrooms," urges educators to help support children's expression of their own innate compassion. She writes:

"Empower children to respond with compassion. When we walk alongside children and build upon their ideas, we can help them with incidental, day-to-day acts of compassion and special projects. Children want to contribute. In my research they spoke of helping, giving comfort, and praying for those in need.”

An article on the Greater Good magazine website discusses the ways children can be supported in their compassion in this time of pandemic:

“Even though children are inclined to help, it can be hard for them to know exactly what they can do. Children can start with small acts of compassion as a family— sending kind thoughts to essential workers...helping gather canned goods for the local food pantry.”

But here’s an interesting caution: “Research suggests that small differences in language matter when we’re encouraging our kids to help. Parents can nurture young children’s motivation by inviting them to ‘be a helper’ can instill in them a compassionate self-identity. But there’s a catch: When tasks are too difficult and children experience a setback, those who were asked to ‘be a helper’ are less likely to try to help again compared to children who were simply asked ‘to help.’ So, in circumstances when children might not succeed at helping with something, it’s better to just ask them ‘to help.’”

Source: “How the Pandemic Can Teach Kids About Compassion,” by Maryam Abdullah, greatergood.berkeley.edu, June 29, 2021

Out of the Box Training Kits

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The Out of the Box Training Kit, Sparking Imagination, is designed to help Learners understand the importance of imaginative play in children’s development and how providing recycled and open-ended materials opens the doors of imagination and promotes executive function in young children.

Out of the Box Training Kits are ready-to-use professional development programs on a variety of contemporary topics to support and improve the skills and pedagogy of those who work with young children.

Use coupon code TRAINING when prompted.

May not be combined with any other offer. Not applicable on past purchases. Sale expires March 31, 2021, at 11:59 pm PST.


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Comments (2)

Displaying All 2 Comments
Tiffany Peckham · March 18, 2021
Lincoln, NE, United States

Thank you for your comment and agreed!


Sarker Javed Iqbal · March 16, 2021
Self employed
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Excellent! This practice of asking help from children is very important at all times to develop their self-esteem. But, in this pandemic it is doubly important to give them a feeling of togetherness.

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