My first children’s book The Poppies on the Hill revolves around the theme of compassion, as well as neighborly love and love for nature. Writing children’s books is a great way to teach these concepts to kids, but let me concentrate first on compassion.

I used to read to my kids every evening when they were young. I count myself lucky to have children who love stories and books. Now I’m helping their children, my grandchildren, grow to love reading. Whether I’m reading to my children or grandchildren, the feeling is still the same: it’s just us together, lost in a story.

It was only years later when I realize reading books together with our kids does more than just help them develop an appreciation for literature, increase their reading fluency, and expand their vocabulary. Reading books with moral values can help them become more compassionate toward others.

As a parent and grandparent, I’m very concerned about raising kids who will be forces for good in the world. With so much hatred and turmoil in the world today, it seems more important than ever to raise children who can understand and be kind, compassionate, nice, caring, and loving toward other people.

Kids have an inborn capacity for compassion. They naturally identify with pets, animals, other kids, and, to some extent, their dolls or stuffed toys. However, their compassion must also compete with other developmental forces that make them pull the cat’s tail or another kid’s hair, or fight with their brother, sister or another kid over a candy or toy.

And we should also understand that some kids are naturally more tuned in to other people’s feelings and difficulties while others are a bit oblivious. It is the job and responsibility of the parents (and grandparents as well) to foster their children’s ability to show care and concern for others.

There are many ways to teach children the value of compassion, and one simple yet powerful approach is through children’s books. Countless children’s books, The Poppies on the Hill among them, offer beautiful lessons on friendship, kindness, and compassion. Through these books, the kids are encouraged or could encourage themselves to see things from the characters’ point of view. They will learn how their actions, no matter how big or small, can uplift others and develop a sense of purpose and pride that can come from helping someone.

Instilling the quality of compassion in your children since early childhood is very important. In today’s world, children must grow up to become compassionate and caring individuals. However, their ability to show care and concern towards others depends on how you raise them to be. The ability to understand other people’s emotions takes time and dedicated effort; it has to nurtured in the early years of childhood. It’s not difficult to teach your children, though. You can lay the foundation.

I’m happy to see my children grow up the way I wanted them to be, as compassionate and caring individuals. As for the values I had taught them when they were young, they now pass them on to their own children, my grandchildren. My job isn’t finished yet. I’m extending the joy of raising compassionate and caring children to my grandchildren. I read them stories everything I’m with them, but as a children’s book author, that joy extends to other children as well.

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