Empathy is the ability to understand and share another person’s feelings. The ability to share in others’ emotions is beneficial in many ways.
It allows children to anticipate how someone would react to something they may do. They will be more willing to share if they are able to understand how it would make the other child feel if they didn’t. It also helps children to understand possible motives behind other people’s behavior and it encourages pro-social behavior which is defined by caring for someone else and acting in a way that benefits them. For instance, a child hugging a friend who got hurt would be an example of pro-social behavior.
Empathy is the basis for compassion; Empathy combined with compassion will lead to a child who is filled with love and generosity.
Here are some easy tips to help cultivate empathy in your child.
1-Model the behavior you wish to encourage
2-Label their feelings as often as possible
3-Encourage role playing-
4-Take advantage of all the opportunities to help the child to understand another person’s feelings-
5-Give them plenty of positive reinforcement when they model compassionate behavior-
For more ideas on raising empathetic, compassionate, and generous children check out these wonderful posts-
LESSON IN COMPASSION: PAINTING WITH OUR MOUTHS By Creative Freckles
GREEN LIFE-EMPATHY By Kitchen Counter Chronicles
EMOTIONS BOARD BOOK By Love, Play, Learn
Love Never Ends By The Iowa Farmer’s Wife
REVIVING-SIMPLE WAYS TO TEACH TODDLERS ABOUT KINDNESS By Famiglia&Seoul
ACTS OF KINDNESS- MONTESSORI STYLE By JDaniel4’s Mom