Teach Empathy to Kids | Tips for Cultivating Empathy

Tips for Cultivating Empathy

by | Mar 14, 2022 | Social and Emotional Learning

Empathy is the capacity to understand the feelings of others and respond to them with care. Empathy can teach social-emotional skills. Empathy helps your child form healthy relationships. This positive character trait helps your children understand their emotions and regulate them better. Empathy builds the character of your children. It builds compassion. Empathy is the key to success too. People with empathy are more successful in their careers. They also have better and more fruitful personal lives. 

How to Teach Empathy to Your Children

There are many ways to teach empathy to your children. Empathy creates well-adjusted and self-aware children. Empathy helps your children manage their emotions and resolve their conflicts peacefully. You can teach empathy at any age and shape positive experience and build through practice.  Teach your children essential life skills early in life so they reap its benefits in full. Use the practical tips given below to teach empathy to your children. 

  1. Teach Your Kids the others point of view

Make them understand that every person is different in their own way. All of us have different mindsets. Use practical examples and real-life stories. For example, you can tell them not to hurt others feelings when they play with them . They will be hurt if your child does not share his/her toys. Use numbers 6 and 9 to show how the point of view changes from opposite sides. What appears to be 6 will look like 9 from the other side. This way, your children will learn to understand the point of view of others. 

  1. Become a role model and Teach Empathy

Practice what you want your children to be as you are their first role model. Your children observe you and learn from your actions. When you show empathy to others, your children learn from you. Be kind and caring to everyone. Help your spouse with the daily chores. Volunteer for a charity and take your children with you. Your children learn when you support others, they in turn support you. Create a strong support system so they can emulate.

  1. Teach Your Children to be active listener 

Teach your children to be effective listeners. Become a role model for your children, listen to them intently and give your full attention. Replay in your mind what you heard. Then repeat it in front of your children to ensure you got the correct message. Step into your children’ shoes and try to understand their perspectives. Ask your children to practice this process themselves. 

  1. Point Out any Rude Behavior 

Do not ignore any rude and unwanted conduct of your children. Do not scold or shout but point out what they did wrong. Perhaps they acted badly towards another family member, say their granny. Ask your children how the grandma must have felt. Once they understand the result of their actions, they will be more empathic and careful.  

  1. Teach Empathy Through Genuine Apology 

We insist our children say sorry for their mistakes. “I am sorry” has become filler words with no meaning.  Before you look for an apology from your children, ask them to recall what they did wrong. Do not dictate or preach. Guide your children to look at the situation from others’ points of view. Ask your children questions so they understand the other person’s state of mind. Ask your children to focus on the feelings of the people they hurt. For instance, if your children get into a fight with their friends and end up hurting each other. Let them make connections to their actions, to the reaction, and the resolution. 

Also Read : Build Positive Character Traits In Children

  1. Teach Empathy Through “Do-Overs” 

A sincere sorry does not have to be verbal only. Teach your children to rectify their mistakes through “do-overs”. Ask your children to make amends to the person they hurt. Ask them to come up with ways to repair the hurt. These are practical tasks that build empathy in your children. 

  1. Teach Empathy Through Pretend Play 

You can also teach empathy to your children through pretend play. This works more for younger children who still play with toys. Let them take care of a doll as a pretend baby. Ask them what steps they would take to pacify the baby. Likewise, let your children pretend to be a vet for sick pets. Ask your children to imagine how sick pets feel. Then let them find ways to treat and help the sick pets. In the same way, create other pretend games to build empathy in your children.   

  1. Teach Empathy Through Stories

The stories that you read to your children can  teach them empathy. You can help them to choose the right story and read it together. Choose stories that let them get inside the characters’ minds. Watch movies together that encourage empathy. Then play-act with your children through characters of the chosen stories. This will help develop some serious empathy muscles in your children. 

  1. Validate Your Kids Feelings and Emotions

Label and validate your children’s emotions and feelings. Talk to your children whenever they are sad, angry, or annoyed. Discuss the reasons behind such sentiments. Assure them that it is ok to feel this way. This helps your children name and handle different emotions. It also helps your children empathize with others. They begin to understand when others are going through a difficult phase.  

  1. Build Moral Identity of Your Children and Teach Empathy

Build a strong moral identity for your children through positive praise. Praise your children when they help others. Praise them for their good deeds. Let them know when they do something right and its respective consequences. Encourage your children to help others more and practice good conduct. This way, you help them become empathetic and build a strong moral identity. 

  1. Align Your Values

Align your values with what you want your children to follow. Be an example to your children. Be clear about what you expect from your children. Do not praise only success and high grades. Praise kindness and compassion too. Practice empathy and kindness and your children will follow your path. 

  1. Help Your Children Connect to Their Peers 

Encourage your children to build good relations with their peers and fellow students. Ask your children about their friends and school events. It can be about classes, sports or any other events. Your child may share something about how their friends felt. Maybe one of their friends was upset for a reason. Ask them how you can support them if something like this happens. Also, teach your children how they can help their friends when they are facing these types of situations. Your children will be able to relate to others’ feelings this way. They will connect with their peers and form strong friendships. 

Conclusion

How to teach empathy? Like any life skill, teaching empathy takes time. But the good thing is that it can be taught at any age. And once started, it will continue to grow throughout your child’s life. Empathy will help your children be a better version of themselves. They will be happier and more successful. Empathy helps your children be more satisfied and content with their life.

Also Read : How To Teach Moral Values To Students?

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Tips for Cultivating Empathy

by | Mar 14, 2022 | Social and Emotional Learning

Empathy is the capacity to understand the feelings of others and respond to them with care. Empathy can teach social-emotional skills. Empathy helps your child form healthy relationships. This positive character trait helps your children understand their emotions and regulate them better. Empathy builds the character of your children. It builds compassion. Empathy is the key to success too. People with empathy are more successful in their careers. They also have better and more fruitful personal lives.

How to Teach Empathy to Your Children

There are many ways to teach empathy to your children. Empathy creates well-adjusted and self-aware children. Empathy helps your children manage their emotions and resolve their conflicts peacefully. You can teach empathy at any age and shape positive experience and build through practice. Teach your children essential life skills early in life so they reap its benefits in full. Use the practical tips given below to teach empathy to your children.

  1. Teach Your Kids the others point of view

Make them understand that every person is different in their own way. All of us have different mindsets. Use practical examples and real-life stories. For example, you can tell them not to hurt others feelings when they play with them . They will be hurt if your child does not share his/her toys. Use numbers 6 and 9 to show how the point of view changes from opposite sides. What appears to be 6 will look like 9 from the other side. This way, your children will learn to understand the point of view of others.

  1. Become a role model and Teach Empathy

Practice what you want your children to be as you are their first role model. Your children observe you and learn from your actions. When you show empathy to others, your children learn from you. Be kind and caring to everyone. Help your spouse with the daily chores. Volunteer for a charity and take your children with you. Your children learn when you support others, they in turn support you. Create a strong support system so they can emulate.

  1. Teach Your Children to be active listener

Teach your children to be effective listeners. Become a role model for your children, listen to them intently and give your full attention. Replay in your mind what you heard. Then repeat it in front of your children to ensure you got the correct message. Step into your children’ shoes and try to understand their perspectives. Ask your children to practice this process themselves.

  1. Point Out any Rude Behavior

Do not ignore any rude and unwanted conduct of your children. Do not scold or shout but point out what they did wrong. Perhaps they acted badly towards another family member, say their granny. Ask your children how the grandma must have felt. Once they understand the result of their actions, they will be more empathic and careful.

  1. Teach Empathy Through Genuine Apology

We insist our children say sorry for their mistakes. “I am sorry” has become filler words with no meaning. Before you look for an apology from your children, ask them to recall what they did wrong. Do not dictate or preach. Guide your children to look at the situation from others’ points of view. Ask your children questions so they understand the other person’s state of mind. Ask your children to focus on the feelings of the people they hurt. For instance, if your children get into a fight with their friends and end up hurting each other. Let them make connections to their actions, to the reaction, and the resolution.

Also Read : Build Positive Character Traits In Children

  1. Teach Empathy Through “Do-Overs”

A sincere sorry does not have to be verbal only. Teach your children to rectify their mistakes through “do-overs”. Ask your children to make amends to the person they hurt. Ask them to come up with ways to repair the hurt. These are practical tasks that build empathy in your children.

  1. Teach Empathy Through Pretend Play

You can also teach empathy to your children through pretend play. This works more for younger children who still play with toys. Let them take care of a doll as a pretend baby. Ask them what steps they would take to pacify the baby. Likewise, let your children pretend to be a vet for sick pets. Ask your children to imagine how sick pets feel. Then let them find ways to treat and help the sick pets. In the same way, create other pretend games to build empathy in your children.

  1. Teach Empathy Through Stories

The stories that you read to your children can teach them empathy. You can help them to choose the right story and read it together. Choose stories that let them get inside the characters’ minds. Watch movies together that encourage empathy. Then play-act with your children through characters of the chosen stories. This will help develop some serious empathy muscles in your children.

  1. Validate Your Kids Feelings and Emotions

Label and validate your children’s emotions and feelings. Talk to your children whenever they are sad, angry, or annoyed. Discuss the reasons behind such sentiments. Assure them that it is ok to feel this way. This helps your children name and handle different emotions. It also helps your children empathize with others. They begin to understand when others are going through a difficult phase.

  1. Build Moral Identity of Your Children and Teach Empathy

Build a strong moral identity for your children through positive praise. Praise your children when they help others. Praise them for their good deeds. Let them know when they do something right and its respective consequences. Encourage your children to help others more and practice good conduct. This way, you help them become empathetic and build a strong moral identity.

  1. Align Your Values

Align your values with what you want your children to follow. Be an example to your children. Be clear about what you expect from your children. Do not praise only success and high grades. Praise kindness and compassion too. Practice empathy and kindness and your children will follow your path.

  1. Help Your Children Connect to Their Peers

Encourage your children to build good relations with their peers and fellow students. Ask your children about their friends and school events. It can be about classes, sports or any other events. Your child may share something about how their friends felt. Maybe one of their friends was upset for a reason. Ask them how you can support them if something like this happens. Also, teach your children how they can help their friends when they are facing these types of situations. Your children will be able to relate to others’ feelings this way. They will connect with their peers and form strong friendships.

Conclusion

How to teach empathy? Like any life skill, teaching empathy takes time. But the good thing is that it can be taught at any age. And once started, it will continue to grow throughout your child’s life. Empathy will help your children be a better version of themselves. They will be happier and more successful. Empathy helps your children be more satisfied and content with their life.

Also Read : How To Teach Moral Values To Students?

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