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Dear Dr. Cherrye,

There’s a lot going on in our society. Our children are exposed to all sorts of meanness, bullying and violence. We hear of youngsters using profanity, disrespecting elders, and just plainly – disregarding the feelings of others. I feel that we’re raising a culture of children growing up without care and compassion toward their peers and adults. Whatever happened to family values?

Dear Whatever happened to family values,

To teach children family values, and to have respect for others, we must first teach them how to own care and compassion. They must be taught to treat others with kindness. This is what empathy entails. Children must have a deep and genuine care for the feelings of others.

To do this, parents must:

  • Model Empathy. This means that parents must show children how to have compassion for others. For example: If a child is having a bad day, the parent can show compassion by listening carefully to the child. If the child falls off his/her bicycle and gets a boo-boo on the knee, the parent should comfort the child, while immediately attending to the knee.
  • Take Care of a Child’s Emotional Needs. Again, listen to the child. Acknowledge their feelings, their storytelling, sharing and the issues that are important to them.
  • Teach Children how to do Kind Deeds. Role model how to show kind deeds to others. For example: If an elderly woman needs help getting through a door, assist her. Your child will notice you doing kind things for others.
  • Teach Children how to Share: This is a great skill to do everyday, but especially around the holidays. For example: Take your child to the children’s wing of a hospital. Let your child help give out toys, candy, cards, and/or perform a talent such as singing Christmas carols.

There’s a long list of actions that parents can do to help instill a sense of care, compassion, kindness and empathy within their children. It must start early and remain consistent throughout their lives.

Additional Resources

  1. Teach Your Dragon Empathy: Help Your Dragon Understand Empathy. A Cute Children Story To Teach Kids Empathy, Compassion and Kindness. (My Dragon Books)
  2. How to Raise Kind Kids: And Get Respect, Gratitude, and a Happier Family in the Bargain
  3. How to Talk So Teens Will Listen and Listen So Teens Will Talk
  4. I Am Human: A Book of Empathy
  5. Learning to Listen, Learning to Care: A Workbook to Help Kids Learn Self-Control and Empathy
  6. Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy
  7. Listening with My Heart: A story of kindness and self-compassion


I’ve made it my mission to assist parents in resolving the bullying issues their children are suffering. Offering your feedback and suggestions in the comment section could facilitate meaningful dialog on this critical issue among ourselves and I encourage this. I will respond to each comment in a timely way. Should you wish to speak privately with me, please email be at CherryeVasquez@gmail.com, and I will reply promptly.


Parents/Educators - Join the conversation engaging in achieving corrective solutions for bullying.

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Use my free resources, Self-Identity Worksheet: Sharing My Goals & Positive Attributes and The Bully Band: Parents in Rhythm as tools to help you help your child with bullying, and to help build your child’s self-esteem.   

2 thoughts on “Teaching Care & Compassion to Children

  1. Linda Hales says:

    Thanks for the wonderful advice Dr. Cherrye – as always! Role modeling to our children is perhaps the most useful and effective way to build character in our kids. They learn early on that a parent’s kindness and generosity induces positive results and might try to emulate those examples in their own behaviors. I’ve seen this from the earliest stages in my nephew. His parents were wonderful role models (still are) from the beginning and included him in so many of their experiences and he took note. Around 2 or 3, he was already helping Mom pack up groceries to take to and deliver to the foodbank and as he grew, right up through to his teens, he volunteered at foodbanks. He sold his outgrown toys at garage sales and donated the proceeds to charity. He was appointed to roles at school wherein he assisted in demonstrating empathetic behavior in diversity classes at school and moderated instances of wrong behavior between bullies and victims. This is where his empathy came in handy and often, bullies responded to it in positive ways. He chose his own charities when just a child and insisted that his contribution had to come from his own money and not his parents so he owned it. Our children have the potential to be as strong as we allow them to be and role modelling strong values is second to none for achieving positive results.

    1. Dr. Cherrye says:

      Oh my! Your response made my heart sing. I love it when I’ve learned that a child (who’s now an adult) was taught to be such an empathetic kind person to others. It is my wish that more parents will do the same as your nephew’s parents. This is how we mold our children into wonderful citizens to whom we can happily reside within our community. I especially love that he insisted on using his own earned monies to support charitable organizations, Linda. What a wonderful nephew you have. I bet it’s just wonderful being in his company.

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