How Parents Can Use Coronavirus To Teach Kids About Compassion

April 18, 2020

Quote of the Week

"Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things." --Thomas Merton

How Parents Can Use Coronavirus To Teach Kids About Compassion

The global coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of families to stay home from work and school and self-quarantine together.  This can be frustrating [ ]...especially for children.  But it presents a good opportunity to teach kids about social responsibility and how their own seemingly small acts of sacrifice and kindness, from washing hands to staying inside, can improve the lives of many, many others.  Your own example is the greatest teacher for your children.  

Next time you are out of the house, smile at anyone you see. You might not be able to shake their hand or give them a hug, but that doesn't mean you have to avoid eye contact. Another powerful way to show kindness during the COVID-19 era is to reach out to anyone in the high-risk group — people age 65 or older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma. Ask if you can do their grocery shopping for them, or run any essential errands that will allow them to stay inside their home.

For more inspiration, think about writing to your neighbors using sidewalk chalk, hanging positive messages or kids' drawings in windows facing the street to cheer passersby, sharing poetry readings online with friends and family, donating surplus non-perishables to a local food pantry, and checking in with grandparents and other vulnerable people on a daily basis. Social media-savvy kids may want to create an online campaign to share important information and resources with their community. Whether the goal is to break through social isolation or ensure people have all the food and essential supplies they need, these acts can illustrate to kids the value of social responsibility and compassion — not just in the next few weeks and months, but for the rest of their lives.  Read more in this week's featured article from The Week. 

Reading Corner

Title: A Sick Day For Amos McGee 
By: Philip C. Stead 
Recommended Ages: 2-8

This beautiful Caldecott medal winning picture book celebrates the importance of kindness and caring for others through the story of a zookeeper whose animal friends visit him when he is sick. The simple text and illustrations are perfect for sharing with young readers and noticing all of the small ways in which we can care for each other.

Be the Change

This post has 20 great suggestions on how kids and teens can help others during the pandemic. Share this list with your friends and try a couple of ideas each week with your kids. It's a good way to keep them engaged with a positive purpose!