A child’s world is small. They innately think about themselves first and everyone and everything second. Think about the concept of sharing. It is one of life’s hardest first lessons, and it has to be taught. Empathy is another social and emotional concept that needs time to develop.
So what is empathy? Empathy can be defined as the ability to be aware of, perceive, understand, and be sensitive to the feelings, thoughts and experiences of others. It can be demonstrated by expressing a supportive response.
We all want our children to grow up to be empathetic, caring and compassionate people. Empathy is a key ingredient in positive friendships and relationships. It reduces conflicts and misunderstandings and leads to helping behavior, kindness and even greater success in life in general.
Because cognitive abilities and life experiences develop over time, it is important to introduce the concept of empathy at an early age.
So … how to teach a child empathy?
Resolve conflicts through words
Praise empathetic behaviors
Embrace difference and diversity in others
Identify feelings and emotions
Observe current events
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