Monthly Article Archives: December 2001

Compassion and Caring: Integral Features of Emotional Well-BeingRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

In several of my previous newsletters as well as in other writings I have emphasized the importance of providing children with opportunities to help others as a way of nurturing their compassion, self-esteem, and resilience. As an example, in last month’’s newsletter I advocated that an effective intervention to assist children to manage the anxieties elicited by the terrorist attacks was to involve them in activities in which they contributed to the well-being of others such as collecting money for victims, or preparing sandwiches for rescue workers, or sending cards of condolences. The act of enlisting the help of children conveys the message that we believe in you and that you have something to offer the world – —integral components of self-worth and resilience. Over the years I have received feedback from many individuals about the emotional rewards of helping others. Some have rightfully emphasized that the benefits of contributing to the lives of others is a powerful force at all ages, not just in childhood. Recently, a woman at one of my parenting workshops mentioned that she, her husband, and their two children wrote cards and sent a monetary gift to a fund for victims of the September 11

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