I think the way to raise children so that they can be compassionate and kind is to lead by example. It starts with how we treat them.

One thing we often fail to do is validate our children’s emotions. Why must my child share their favorite toy with a kid he just met? We often don’t put ourselves in our children’s shoes.

Imagine you’re playing candy crush on your phone and a random stranger takes it from you and starts playing. How would you react? You’re likely to say “that’s different because I’m not a child”. But no, it’s no different. Our kids look up to us to be on their side, but we go and force them to share when they’re not ready. I understand it’s important to teach them to share but it’s even more important to RESPECT if they don’t want to. I’ve noticed that when you don’t force children to share, they’re more likely to do it afterward.

This is true in many different scenarios. Validating emotions is crucial. Finding a good time to talk about a tantrum. Etc.

And as adults, it’s also our job to work on ourselves to be a good example. We should invest in developing emotional intelligence.

Writer, documentary filmmaker, photographer, feminist, mother, and much more.

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