parenting

Practising Compassion #1000Speak

1000Speak Compassion Vidya Sury

I am privileged to write this post on practising compassion in parenting for #1000Speak and Finish the Sentence Friday hosted by Kristi Rieger Campbell of Finding Ninee. Our prompt for FTSF today is “”Compassion is important because…..”

More about the 1000Speak movement at the end of the post.

Practising Parenting with Compassion

Compassion is important because compassion makes us happier individuals. I find it most relevant in the parenting context. Compassion actively promotes better relationships with our children, as we appreciate them and steer them in the right direction and of course – learn from them! I’ve noticed that compassion also cultivates cooperative children, building their self-esteem and confidence, while lowering their tendency towards negative behavior.

Best of all, children with compassionate parents become emotionally strong and happy.

Now if that is not a great outcome, I would love to know what is.

compassion vidya sury

Now more than ever, I have to be at my compassionate best when my son’s on the threshold of his exams – exams that will determine his future. It is a stressful time for all concerned and the one thing we’ve pledged to practice is compassion. And lots of empathy, because – let’s face it – he’s the one who has to work hard and perform even though people constantly wish us luck. I feel lucky already, knowing that my son understands that the harder he works, the luckier he gets.

What I learned from Practising Parenting with Compassion

Practising compassion has taught me that compassion is not about allowing children to do whatever they want. It is certainly not about letting them get away with anything they do. What it does imply is getting deeper into the child’s behavior to understand what prompted a certain behavior. If the child is throwing a tantrum, it is about finding out why and enabling her to get a grip on her behavior so that she can control her impulses.

You probably think this is not the ideal parenting strategy, but then, there’s no such thing as a perfect parent, right?

Also, perfection is highly subjective.  I’d be the first to admit I make mistakes in the things I say or do when it comes to my son. If I had a cent for every 20/20 hindsight experience- I’d be a zillionaire.

Then again, happily for parents, children are quite immune to the mistakes we make, because their love for us is unconditional. Talk about a crazy win-win for both!

I’ve also learned that when my words are positive, I get the outcome I desire. That definitely doesn’t mean I am a saint who does not get angry, annoyed, or mad – I am human, after all. But the point is – self-control.

In our family, when we get angry, we consciously calm down and control ourselves and start counting from 1. Regardless of how long we have to count to reach there.

Another thing is the way we express ourselves. We have pledged not to shout. We strive to show by example what we’d like to teach our son. We remind each other when we are on the verge of raising our voices. Yes, of course we feel like shouting. But we don’t. Now, we’ve made it a habit and are delighted to find a very major bonus – a side-benefit – less stress for all.

Being nasty does not achieve anything – except resistance. What is funny is – on the rare occasions we do have to pull up our son, he understands we have his best interests at heart and takes it in the best spirit. We are careful not to be negative or raise our voices as we definitely do not want him to learn that might is right.

I’d love to share five points for practising compassion here that work for me:

Listening

So important for good communication, especially with our children. It helps us understand them better, bond with them and appreciate them. We make it a point to share our days with each other, when we go out for our evening walk together and during and after meal times together.

Encouraging

Whenever my son comes with a problem (oh they do!) we talk it through. We explore possibilities and invariably, he is the one who finds the solution. After all, he’s the one who has to handle it. Airing our feelings and thoughts lightens the load most of the time. It helps look into the situation from the outside, objectively rather than subjectively. By the time we’re done with thrashing it out, he has also learned something from this that he can use later to deal with things.

Educating

School, yes. But that’s basic.  When he transitioned from toddler we bought toys to help him learn something or develop skills. I remember he loved jigsaw puzzles and building blocks. He loved music, sketching and folklore. Now he enjoys pure science as his chosen subjects while continuing to relish music, culture studies and a number of other topics. We try to stay tuned to his interests and support him in whatever way he can.

Spending time together

As I mentioned earlier, we make it a point to spend an hour on our terrace every evening when we talk about our day, sharing the good and the not so good. By the time we’re done and return home, it sets a positive tone for the rest of the evening and ensures that all of us go to bed in peace.

Being affectionate

I am blessed that my son is tactile and affectionate and this makes my mommy-heart brim with happiness. I am grateful for the wonderful relationship we share. Happy children are truly affectionate children. Happiness stems from being loved. Compassion facilitates this process.

Compassion in parenting is not all that hard. In fact, it is pretty much like smiling. You smile and people smile back at you, right? Most people. Compassion is like that. Showing kindness and love makes us more approachable as parents and individuals. The result? Strong, positive relationships that make life worth living.

compassion vidya sury

The 1000 Voices for Compassion #1000Speak Campaign

compassion vidya sury

Headed by Yvonne Spence and Lizzi Rogers,  the 1000 Voices for Compassion #1000Speak movement is happening on February 20, Friday. Read Yvonne’s post to know more. She asked:

How cool would it be if we could get 1000 bloggers on the same day to write posts about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others, non-judgement etc.?
We could call it 1000 Voices For Compassion.
Who’s in?

And now, there are far more than 1000 voices for compassion. Do join us. Stay updated by joining our Facebook group and our Google+ Community.compassion vidya sury

Participate in the 1000speak movement by writing your own post about Compassion. Here are 20 ideas to get you started

Then link up here and visit the others. Let’s flood the internet with love and compassion!

Remember…

compassion vidya sury

 ♥

P.S. If you’ve signed up for the April A to Z Challenge 2015, sign up for the Theme Reveal Blogfest here

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Angelo Limon
    February 19, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Nice article Vidya.

    I am also a father of a 5 year old daughter – it takes patience! We as parents want our children to listen to us, but I found out if we aim to understand out little ones first, we can try to be understood second. Encouragement and compassion is important! Thanks for the reminder Vidya!
    Angelo Limon recently posted…Top Five Quotes By Bob MarleyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Susan Scott
    February 19, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    This is a very beautiful post Vidya thank you so much. My heart and face were smiling! If one lives in a compassionate household one is truly blessed. Imagine if we were all compassionate human beings in the world – but if we have not had the blessing of growing up within a compassionate home, it can be learned, as a quality, or virtue. One can strengthen the compassionate muscle …
    Susan Scott recently posted…Faith, Synchronicity, Doubt, UncertaintyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kenya G. Johnson
    February 20, 2015 at 2:37 am

    You said it, there is no perfect parenting and no one size fits all. I am pretty low key – not a yeller. I’ve had a mom ask me about that because she has to yell at her son to do everything. I don’t know how she can turn that around but I know that I am more responsive to compassion than yelling. It’s also starts with basic communication. Love your post.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…A Story of Compassion…My Profile

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    February 20, 2015 at 4:03 am

    Your love and compassion is felt across the miles.

    love you more than fluffy white cats in summer sunlight. xxx
    My Inner Chick recently posted…Christian Grey Meets Mrs. RobinsonMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jackie @ The Courage In Me
    February 20, 2015 at 6:10 am

    Thanks so much for raising awareness in the compassionate parenting arena. I believe that compassion is learned and definitely starts at home. It sounds like you’ve done a phenomenal job with your son.
    Jackie recently posted…Let Your Self-Compassion Shine – #1000SpeakMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rachna
    February 20, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Agree with every word. Practicing compassion with our children leads to happy relationship and bonding. The same must translate to our spouse and ourselves. Lovely post, Vidya.
    Rachna recently posted…Compassion on social mediaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sarah Nenni Daher
    February 20, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    I completely agree with everything – it’s so easy to become hard to the world, but somehow, raising little ones helps to make it less difficult.

    This is beautifully written, Vidya – glad I found you through IBA bloggers.
    Sarah Nenni Daher recently posted…Healthy Smoothie RecipeMy Profile

  • Reply
    vishalbheeroo
    February 20, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Agree with your points Vidya. If we can show compassion during the tough times, we are winners. Also, Communication, love and affection is the success recipe for healthy relationship formed. I always learn something here which us uplifting:)

  • Reply
    Found In Folsom
    February 20, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Your son is very lucky to have a parent like you, Vidya. A lot to learn from you for other parents like me. I need to completely stop shouting, which is impossible 🙁 I know I have reduced a lot, but the kids just get on the nerves sometimes…it is so hard 🙁 Feel so good to read all such compassionate posts 🙂

  • Reply
    Corinne Rodrigues
    February 21, 2015 at 6:47 am

    No one better than parents to model compassion for children. When Ann comes home and shares about a particularly difficult case, Lisa and Jonathan will add that patient to their prayers and follow up to find out how they’re doing?
    When Jonathan was about 3 or 4, and went for a vacation to his grandmom’s house, the first question he asked Ann when he met her was: ‘How are your patients?’ Of course, he also went on to enquire about their ‘outfoots’ (output)!! 😉
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…#1000Speak For CompassionMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shantala
    February 21, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Hi, This is a great post. Very simple, doable pointers on practicing compassion in parenting. I have a toddler and have seen that even at this age, what you say is very true – that any form of aggression will lead to even more resistance. Also, I agree that staying calm helps. However, it gets tricky- staying calm when a 3 year old is turning your house upside down. 🙂
    -Shantala
    Shantala recently posted…The Fault in our Stars by John Green | Book ReviewMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shantala
    February 21, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Hi Vidya, This is a great post. Simple, doable pointers on practicing compassion in parenting. I have a toddler and even at this age, what you say applies-any form of aggression will lead to even more resistance. Staying calm helps, however, it gets tricky to stay calm when a 3 year old is turning your house upside down. 🙂
    -Shantala
    Shantala recently posted…The Fault in our Stars by John Green | Book ReviewMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anna Fitfunner
    February 21, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Great post! But also, thanks so much for being an organizer for this effort! It’s wonderful to see how this effort has grown from a small idea into something much larger and potentially transformative. Yay!
    Anna Fitfunner recently posted…Compassion and #1000SpeakMy Profile

  • Reply
    Birgit
    February 26, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Compassion is so needed and it is so wise to spend an hour with your son and talk about the day. So many do not do this in this techno age and with parents working odd shifts etc… I love the fact that you take walks together or sit out on the terrace. My parents did yell. My mom was.is a spitfire and my dad was an old time lumber man who grew up so poor it makes the poor look rich. The good news is that both my parents showed compassion in different ways and always listened. They also showed their feelings and hugged. How needed is a genuine and good hug.
    Birgit recently posted…Oscar NightMy Profile

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