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No mention of vegetarianism but still a good article.

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While rummaging through an old box, my daughter, Claire, came across the stuffed bear I'd had when I was her age, a deeply loved creature named Teddy. "How come Teddy has no fur?" she asked. "Why doesn't she have eyes?" I explained that my cousin's dog had chewed up Teddy when I was a kid. She was aghast.

Gravely, she kissed Teddy's empty eye sockets. Somberly, she reported to her twin brother, Drew, what had happened. "We've got to fix her," she said.

As it turns out, children have an inborn capacity for compassion. Small in stature themselves, they naturally identify with stuffed animals, other kids, pets, and underdogs. The tricky part is that their empathy must compete with other developmental forces, including limited impulse control -- which makes them pull the cat's tail -- and their belief that their needs absolutely must come first -- which makes it hard for them to let their cousin push the cool fire truck.

But with so much hatred and turmoil in the world today, it seems more important than ever to raise kids who can understand and be kind to other people. Teaching this doesn't mean lectures or visits to soup kitchens. It's part of day-to-day life: how you answer your child's questions, how you solve conflict at the park, how you nudge his or her growing capacity to understand and think about other people. Temperament of course plays a role -- some kids are naturally more tuned in to other people's feelings and difficulties, while others are a bit oblivious. Either way, you have influence in fostering your child's ability to empathize. Age by age, here's how to do so in small, daily doses:
Full story...

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/paren...ion/index.html
 

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I hope we are on the right path..have a 15mth old and a 2mth old..I think it is so cute that when the baby cries, CK (15mths) will go "awww" and try to help make her feel better. She has grabbed a bottle and tried to feed her, she often tries to give her a pacifier while mimicking the noise my mum made while trying to get her to take it. She gives the baby kisses and treats her "nice" (as I say) which is petting her gently on the head like she does the dogs. All of this was with no prompting and no one told her to.
I guess just leading a great example helps your child be as compassionate as you are.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sararie View Post

She gives the baby kisses and treats her "nice" (as I say) which is petting her gently on the head like she does the dogs. All of this was with no prompting and no one told her to.
I guess just leading a great example helps your child be as compassionate as you are.
You've obviously taught her to be nice to the dogs and she's applying this 'nice' behaviour to other living things as well, well done. It's sounds like you're a wonderful parent.

I think all children should have pets and be taught to have compassion for living things for this very reason.
 

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My ds's preschool had printed this and left in a pile for parents to take one by their sign-out sheet. I picked mine up to take with me and one of the teacher's says "oh, you've already succeeded in raising the most compassionate child possible... honestly, you can skip the article!".
 

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Yesterday evening I drove home from my mom's house and my 3-year-old fell asleep in the car. When we came in the door he was shivering so I wrapped him in a blanket and was holding him on my lap. Just then my 15-month old walked to the bookshelf and started pulling all the books off the shelves. I kept saying "no, no Ben, put the books ON the shelf!" but to no avail. I didn't want to get up because my 3-year-old was almost asleep on my lap. Pretty soon, my 3-year-old looked up at me and said, "I'm sorry that Ben made a big mess, Mommy. I can help you clean it up if you want."


That really warmed my heart, and it was so comforting because I can so remember the days, not too long ago, that HE was making those big messes, and now look how far he's come. (By the way, my 15-month old is very sweet also, very affectionate and loving and always has hugs and kisses for us)

I think being vegetarian is going to make parenting compassionate children that much easier. Instead of having to teach our kids the "tough facts of life" about why animals have to be killed, we can teach them lessons of compassion and kindness that will actually make sense to them! The whole "why it's okay to eat animals" conversation must be tough one for omni parents.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edamommy View Post

My ds's preschool had printed this and left in a pile for parents to take one by their sign-out sheet. I picked mine up to take with me and one of the teacher's says "oh, you've already succeeded in raising the most compassionate child possible... honestly, you can skip the article!".
What a wonderful compliment!! That must've made you feel great!

Good job
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sararie View Post

She gives the baby kisses and treats her "nice" (as I say) which is petting her gently on the head like she does the dogs. All of this was with no prompting and no one told her to.
I guess just leading a great example helps your child be as compassionate as you are.
On an opposite note, I've got a friend who has a (great!) dog, and of course the dog is wanting the attention that the 2 year old is getting, but the dog gets in the way. So the poor thing gets yelled at all the time. The 2 year old is taking after this behaviour from his parents (mother especially) and has started to also yell at the dog. This dog is just about the most well behaved and best trained animal ever, and is so sweet, but is getting the short end of the stick. My friend is also pregnant and due in 3 months, so I can't imagine what it'll be like for their dog after that...

We plan on getting a baby cat in a couple years, after ours kid is 2 or 3. We want the kid to be old enough to be able to help out with the cat, learn how to be nice to it, and then they can grow up together.
 
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