The Compassion Cure Let Your Kids Catch You Being Generous food items or even a nice cup of hot chocolate. Ask your kids what they would like to give and act on their ideas. Give Nationally Or Globally: When a national L By Christina Katz essons in compassion can be grounding for the whole family in tumultuous times, when it seems like random danger can strike anywhere at any moment. Let your kids catch you being kind so they will have real-life memories to recollect later that remind them to be a positive force in the world today, no matter how others choose to behave. Often children are better at compassion and kindness than adults. When this is the case, we should follow their lead. Cultivating a spirit of generosity encourages us to see the humanity in any situation rather than defaulting to judgment or condemnation. So, if you want to raise thoughtful, peace-loving kids, show them the way. Get some generosity going and keep it flowing. author, Jessica Morrell, likes to give her granddaughters a cool lesson in generosity when they stop in the car at highway ramps or intersections. “I create little bags to pass out — a few dollars, a protein bar, hand sanitizer, tissues, etc. I change the items depending on the season — add cough drops in winter, try to give out water bottles on hot days.” If you don’t feel comfortable giving money, give sturdy, healthy or international tragedy strikes, get your kids involved in donating a little to The Red Cross ( or other emergency organizations. Explain that when disasters happen, it helps to do a small good deed, even if it’s just making a modest contribution. If your child just had a Bar Mitzvah or a big birthday, encourage her to give a small amount to a cause she believes in and see how it makes her feel. Catch Them In The Act: Help Those Who Need It Most: Grandmother and If you notice your child going above and beyond, let him know you feel proud. I was wondering if I was nagging my daughter too much about extending kindness to the new girl in dance class. Then I met her mother at the fall mixer and she commented that her daughter always speaks highly of my daughter. Rather than mostly focusing on correcting negative behavior, I try to make a point of telling my daughter when she makes me proud. This was one of those times. Be A Good Tipper: Let kids help you work out 15% for tips on restaurant meals and then teach them how to tack on a little extra. The waitress at the restaurant works hard — so does your local barista, postal delivery person, and babysitter. Talk to kids about creating a holiday thank you gift together to express your family’s appreciation and then add in a small cash bonus or gift card. Compassion continued on page 28 Books That Encourage Children To Be Generous • • • • Reach Out And Give by Cheri J Meiners M.Ed. Under The Lemon Moon by Edith Hope Fine The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau The Berenstain Bears: The Joy Of Giving by Mike and Jan Berenstain Books That Encourage Tweens To Be Generous • The Giving Book: Open The Door To A Lifetime Of Giving by Ellen Sabin • How To Be An Everyday Philanthropist By Nicole Bouchard Boles • The Kid’s Guide To Service Projects By Barbara A. Lewis • One Good Deed A Day: A Journal From Chronicle Books 4 Piedmont Family Magazine 2013 • Issue 6