Bringing Up Children with Compassion
Mrs. Karing was rebuking Shloimie and Sorale. "How can you be
so cruel to my son? Why are you so nasty to him?"
Shloimie and Sorale had been fighting with Eli Karing,
calling him names and refusing to let him play with them.
"But he was nasty to us first!" they protested.
Mrs. Karing took a deep breath and began to give the two
children a long lecture. "So you react by taking revenge?
That's not nice! What you should do is to be so kind and
generous to Eli that he will just have to like you and be
nice to you. If you are very kind and giving and generous to
someone, he will be so overcome with appreciation of what you
are doing for him that he will not be able to act badly
As Mrs. Karing was talking, little Eli began to mimic his
mother and make faces at her. When she noticed it, she lost
her temper and started to scream in rage at her son.
The fact is that 7-year-old Eli was a thoroughly spoilt brat.
He would go into a tantrum whenever he did not get his own
way and always ended up fighting with other children when
they tried to play with him.
Mrs. Karing was convinced that a mother must always be full
of compassion, love and generosity. She felt that by being an
example of such midos for her child, he would
automatically follow in her way and do likewise.
But things were going wrong. Somehow, little Eli was growing
up to be a selfish, spoilt little pest who was disliked by
all who crossed his path.
The mistake which Mrs. Karing was making was that she was
projecting her own attitudes onto her child. Perhaps she had
read books discussing the emotional needs of teenagers and
adults. She was forgetting, or she never knew, that children
are not miniature adults. Children are immature, developing
adults. Many emotions need to be trained. Some emotions need
to be controlled; some need to be developed and also, a child
needs to learn how to deal with conflicts between
Firmness and discipline are not contradictions to kindness
and sympathy. Children do need kindness and sympathy, but
they also need to learn control and to relate to the needs of