We all hope our kids will turn out to be caring adults. It is never too early to help our kids on the road to empathy! Read on for some tips to encourage those budding feelings of care and concern, and teach children empathy.
One of the best ways to help your child understand what empathy is, and how to be empathetic, is to model that behavior. Show your children what being empathetic entails. You will be amazed at how your kids will internalize that behavior.
Like anything else, kids need opportunities to practice their new skills. Find opportunities or point out opportunities to practice empathy. Is there a little boy crying on the playground? Encourage your daughter to seek out the little boy and ask if he needs help.
3. Emotional Management
Help your kids learn emotional management and self-regulation. If your little one is frustrated or angry, it is hard to be empathetic. By teaching your child emotional self-control it can help facilitate feelings of concern and care for others.
Teaching everyday politeness is also a key component. Please and thank you go a long way toward showing respect for others.
Get your child involved in charitable events or activities when you can. Can your child go through some of their old toys or books and donate what they no longer use or need? Can your child write a thank you note for the new book she received from Grandma?
Label, label, and label some more. Encouraging your child to label his or her feelings, and the feelings of others, will give your child a solid foundation in understanding and managing feelings.
Giving your child an age specific chore or responsibility such as feeding the dog or cat helps her to understand others need our help and support.