Teaching Compassion

canstockphoto43756I provide services for children and teens with various mental health and behavioral health needs.

Some of their behavioral needs include targeting verbal aggression, physical aggression, destruction of property, self-harmful behaviors.

Interpersonal skills are taught to these children. Concepts like: giving up harmful choices. Developing empathy and concern for other people. Finding a healthy way to express thoughts and feelings. Being assertive opposed to passive or aggressive. Validating other people’s thoughts and feelings. Being an attentive listener. Learning to accept “no” for an answer.

We often do compassion training with local facilities.

In example, we have a local no-kill animal shelter.

  • Our children can donate their own extrinsic reward points to buy pet food, animal toys, and blankets. We take the kids to the shelter and let them take a tour.
  • Our children (who are in a psychiatric residential treatment setting) have often written letters to the elderly in nursing homes who are sick and lonely.
  • We play emotional movies (that are age-appropriate for children or teens) and have a discussion on being empathetic with characters in the movie.

I  thought this Huffington Post article on “8 ways to teach compassion” was a good article to read:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/signe-whitson/8-ways-to-teach-compassio_b_5568451.html 

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