Creative Child

Raising Resilient and Compassionate Boys

by Rebecca Eanes


  1. Provide opportunities for him to contribute, serve, and volunteer. We periodically take donations to our local animal shelter. We get involved in food drives. When there are local flood or disaster relief efforts, we pitch in with a donation. We write letters to children we sponsor through Compassion International. I ask my boys to donate used toys and clothing to charity at Christmas. There are many ways we can teach our boys to show compassion to others. Get them involved because not only does it build empathy, but it builds a positive self-concept as well. Plus, research shows volunteers lead happier, healthier lives.
  1. Create a positive, warm, and safe environment at home. Learn the philosophy of and practice positive parenting. Build strong and secure attachments with your children. Practice positive communication skills. Provide predictable routines and loving rituals. Positive parenting fosters both empathy and resilience!

  2. Give your boy a pet to care for. It’s easy to see how caring for a tiny animal will boost compassion but researchers have identified many benefits to having a pet, including teaching respect for living things, developing responsible behavior, and providing comfort. Take it a step further and teach your boy not to squash bugs or harm anything in nature. As Bradley Miller said, “Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.” Children who are taught to extend kindness, gentleness, and compassion to all creatures will also extend it to human beings.

  3. Turn failures into opportunities. Help children develop a growth mindset by looking at mistakes and failures as opportunities to learn, grow, and try something new. Share examples of when you had to overcome a similar hardship. Talk to him about his experiences in a positive and supportive manner. For example, if he brings home a D on his report card, rather than punish or berate him, ask him what he needs help with and look for ways to solve the problem together. He’ll do much better with your support than your criticism. Let boys who strike out in the ball game know that you just love to watch them play. Convey the message that their worth doesn’t hang on their performance.
Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.


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