In your childhood, empathy may not have been something you were taught. Actually, most of us would even assume that empathy is innate and not learned! Promoting empathy is a perfect way to build the foundations of a compassionate person’s development to mentor your child on the right way of reacting to their feelings of empathy. Continue reading for the ways to teach empathy to your kids.
What Is Empathy?
Empathy is emotion is described as the “aptitude to differentiate one’s feelings from others’ feelings” or, in clear words, to put yourself in another’s shoes. It is important to teach our children to empathize with others and control their own emotions in various circumstances in order to raise them as responsible, responsive human beings. It will become an important part of your life until you are used to emotional treatments. The physical and mental health of your child is to contribute greatly to its overall well-being.
Importance Of Teaching Empathy To Your Kids
Empathy allows one to look at the point of view of another person and to feel how they feel. When you are empathic, your child can easily make friends, escape challenges and settle disputes. However, that doesn’t end!
Empathy is the central value of the Emotional Quotient (EQ) – the capacity to recognize one’s and others’ emotions. Children with high levels of E.Q are more likely to achieve academic achievement, be successful in leadership roles, and in general find more fulfillment and enjoyment in personal interactions later in life.
When Does Kids learn Empathy?
At the age of 2 years and beyond, children start displaying signs of true empathy. For instance, a little child who sees his mother crying might bring a toy with her which he likes to play, and expects her to feel better!
Empathy is not always clear, however, as something good. Often kids don’t know how to react to their empathic feelings. Just imagine, for example, that a kid was crying because of a stomach ache he had. Other kids can attempt to comfort him. Another person could punch him into the belly! It’s not that he’s not empathetic on his own; it’s because he doesn’t know how to show it!
Ways To Teach Empathy To Your Kids
Building empathy in your child needs a combination of both life-long behavioral training and the use of cognitive games for children and children. Here are few ways to teach empathy to your kids.
1. Teach Empathy For Oneself
We just want to work hard and follow the conventional rules and family roles in our society. Very few of us are told that our feelings are significant or that they have any meaning. Such a situation can produce people who live in silence.
To empathize with others, you should first empathize with yourself. Encourage your child to tell you how they feel and how their feelings are valid. Some emotions, like frustration, may not be worthwhile to follow while others need action – this is a big lesson for all children to learn.
2. Holistic development
Encourages our children to become socially and mentally stable adults by promoting empathy. When your child learns to feel and to convey his feelings safely, he or she will grow up to be a comfortable person with a certain emotion. Once he is in good health, he/she will pursue ways to expose him in a constructive way and not allow these feelings or lack of empathy to override his or her life. Naturally, these children master the art of empathy.
3. Cognitive Games
Kid’s empathy games can strengthen their ability to understand other people’s feelings. Simply take the emoticons from your phone and challenge your child to know what every smiley feels – whether they are happy or sad, relaxed or angry, etc. The same game can be played with photographs or even with the cartoons that they see by showing them what a character thinks.
4. Positive Reinforcement
You should applaud them if you see your child perform an authentic kindness act. Not with lovely praise, you can go overboard, but just enough to let them realize you have noticed it and appreciated it. You should even explore your child’s emotions. You should talk about them. Don’t give them something physical like a toy or a treat – you don’t want them to bring friendliness to rewards! In terms of improving child empathy, constructive enhancements are far more successful than the other side of the coin – punitive actions.
5. Learning with their favorites
Use as examples stories and films he/she likes. Select his/her favorite characters and take turns to play different characters and create situations. Ask your child to stop where the person has some emotion to feel, and ask the child to imagine how the person feels. This allows your child to feel like others might be. You could call him/her those emotions. You can ask them a range of ‘why’ questions for the oldest children and ask them to recall their experiences and to think about them and to identify them with them.
6. Be A Role Model
In your child’s words, grammar, body language, self-restraint, and all else are indicated. So it is hardly surprising to learn how to treat other people, they depend on your observations! It encourages your child to be the same to treat others with kindness and understanding to someone who made a mistake! If you were given the wrong orders in a restaurant, be kind to the waiter, for instance. Then ask your child how the waiter feels he must have made the mistake.
7. Be An Empathetic Parent
The raising of an empathetic child needs an empathetic parent. A parent who is empathically attuned to his child’s emotional functioning. It prevents you in times of instant rage when you can easily imagine their point of view. Speak to your child about them instead of blocking your emotions with the meaning of showing them. Say “You really frustrated me,” “You disappointed me” etc. in a calm tone. This triggers their empathic way of thinking. Note that a strongly scolded child may feel more resentment than understanding.
So, these are some of the ways to teach empathy to your kids.
When your child is empathetic, it’s even easier to see how you, the parent, feel! Children will, of course, attempt to comfort you when you are unhappy, ease the tension, and laugh when you are happy. Every parent’s strength is an empathetic child. When they grow older, and you with them, they will be your steadfast companions on the road of life.
Also Read: Ways to Teach Kids Self-Discipline Skills