A young child (3ish)will ask, “Do you want a hug”? It is as if he or she knows that hugging you will make you feel better. Some children cry when they see another child cry. Others spontaneously grab and kiss a brother or sister. All these activities point to a young child demonstrating caring.
Adults know that children learn caring behaviors through being cared for and by being taught by example. There are so many caring behaviors that adults want to develop in children. Some of these behaviors include a child caring for his or her self, for family and friends, for personnel property and the property of others, for pets, and for people far away.
One of the first caring behaviors a child needs to learn is how to care for his or her self. Yet, with all that parents have to do, it is an ongoing challenge to find the time and the energy to convince a resistant child that taking care of his/herself by going to the bathroom unassisted or bathing or dressing independently is a good thing when it is so much easier and attention-getting to insist that mommy help.
Parents, grandparents, teachers and other adults responsible for helping a child develop caring behaviors please write and share what has worked for you!