Part of learning how and when to show compassion is learning how to understand and read other people’s emotions. When we recently spent a week studying compassion, I made a stack of “emotion cards” for the boys (examples in the image below).
I laid them out and taking turns I would ask them to “please pick up a card that shows someone who is excited”, or angry, sad, happy, confused, worried, etc.
Some of the images lead to discussions about why or how the person ended up feeling that way, and how we could show compassion to someone in that situation.
Several times during that week Damian chose to pull out these cards again and work with them, sorting them, and asking me questions about them. Boys especially need to be encouraged to understand emotions at a deeper level, as society rarely affords them this opportunity (actually often the exact opposite, they are encouraged not to feel or show emotion!).