It takes an honest parent to consider teaching empathy to a child, which we call empathy or empathy! Empathy is not something you are taught in childhood. In fact, most of us might even believe that empathy is born with, not taught! Encouraging empathy and, most importantly, training your child in the right way to respond to feelings of empathy is a good way to lay the groundwork for the development of a good human being.
Why is it important to teach empathy to children?
Empathy helps us see the other person’s perspective and know how they may feel. When your child has a sense of empathy, he can make friends easily, avoid fights, and find solutions to conflicts easily. But the thing doesn’t stop there!
Emotional quotient (EQ) That is, empathy is considered a fundamental value in emotional intelligence, that is, the ability to recognize one’s own feelings and those of others. Children who grow up with high levels of EQ are more likely to achieve academic success, are effective in leadership roles, and generally find greater happiness and satisfaction in personal relationships later in life.
When does a child learn empathy?
Children begin to show signs of genuine empathy from the age of two. For example, a child, watching his mother cry, brings him a toy that he likes to play with, hoping that the mother will feel better!
However, empathy does not always have to be a positive thing. Sometimes children do not know how to respond to the sympathetic feelings they are experiencing. For example, imagine a child crying with a stomach ache. So a child tries to comfort her. And another kid can punch you in the stomach! It’s not because I don’t sympathize with her; It’s because he doesn’t know how to show it!
10 effective ways to teach empathy to children
To develop a sense of empathy in your child, you need a combination of lifelong behavioral training, and cognitive games aimed at infants and toddlers.
1. Be empathetic parents
Raising an empathetic child requires empathetic parents. Empathetic parents are those who are well connected to their child’s emotional mind. When you can easily visualize their point of view, it prevents you from mocking them immediately in times of anger. Instead of venting your feelings in an unfavorable way, talk to the child. Say to them in a calm voice “You have disappointed me”, “You have disappointed me”, etc. This speeds up their empathy process. Keep in mind that a child who is scolded out loud may feel more resentful than understood.
2. Talk about Feelings
A child who has no special knowledge or experience only feels happiness, sadness, anger, tiredness, and so on. throughout the day, without thinking about why or how these feelings came about or what those emotions are! It’s always good to talk to your children about feelings, teach them their names, and train them to recognize those feelings. It also helps them hear what you are feeling.
When a child is able to identify and name their own feelings, they are also better prepared to recognize those feelings in others!
3. Be a role model
Your child learns from you about words, grammar, gestures, self-control and everything else to speak. So it’s no wonder he sees you learning to deal with other people! Showing kindness to others and being understanding with the wrongdoer encourages your child to do the same! For example, if you have been placed an incorrect order at a restaurant, be polite to the waiter. Then ask the child how he thinks the waiter would have felt when he made this mistake.
4. Teach yourself to have empathy
In our culture, we are only expected to work hard and follow traditional family rules and roles. Very few of us are told that our feelings are important or have any meaning. Such a situation causes people to suffer silence for the rest of their lives.
To have empathy for others, we must first have empathy for ourselves. Encourage your child to talk about how he or she is feeling and teach him or her to value his or her feelings. Some emotions, such as anger, are not worth adopting, while others need to be addressed with action: an important lesson that all children must learn. Being empathetic doesn’t mean shutting up and letting others take advantage of you or be better than you!
5. Cognitive play
Empathy games for children improve their ability to recognize the feelings of others. When playing the emoticon game, all you have to do is show the emoji on your phone and challenge the child to identify what each emoticon feels like: happy or sad, calm or angry, and so on. The same game is played with pictures or even cartoons, ask them to identify what the cartoon character feels.
6. Role-playing games
There is no need to always look for empathy activities for children. There are so many games that boys, especially girls, play, such as playing at home and toy tea party, they naturally make them feel elsewhere. Playing this role motivates them to express their feelings verbally and through their actions. Can you take steps at certain times to ask yourself “what does” your character “feel like” or “why does” your character “feel that way?” By referring to the character in the third person, the child will recognize and feel the feelings of their character: that is the essence of empathy!
7. Connect with the character in the book
Reading a book that tells the story of one or more people is a great way to learn empathy! That’s why teaching empathy to children through literature is so effective. We feel a connection with the characters in the story as we observe their ups and downs of life! After reading the book, to help the child isolate their sympathetic feelings and look at them with a different perspective, “Why did you like the character?”, “Was there something in the book that you didn’t like? ” Ask questions, etc.
8. Help the House
Regardless of age and gender, ask your child to help with household chores, whether it’s to help mom, dad, or grandparents. More than a hand and a hand, giving them this “responsibility” at the same time will help them see how others are spending the day and what it takes to keep the home!
9. Positive reinforcement
If you notice that your child is doing a genuine act of kindness, praise him. But you shouldn’t praise it too much, just tell him you’ve seen it and appreciated it. You can also talk about the feelings of the person to whom the child showed mercy. However, don’t reward him with toys or treats for it – you wouldn’t want him to associate kindness with rewards! To know how to develop empathy in a child, remember that positive reinforcement is much more effective than punishing or attracting.
10. Help him identify as a sensitive person
Help the child to develop a moral identity by talking about it consciously. Encourage him to evaluate his own actions with the question “What kind of person would do that?” If a child is praised with words like “You are such a helpful person” (the word reflects the type of person you are) instead of “How kind!”, (Especially just that Speaking of a task) you are more likely to repeat . positive behavior.
When your child is empathetic, they can still better guess how you, their parents, feel! Kids naturally try to cheer you up when you’re sad, reduce stress when you’re stressed, and laugh with you when you’re happy. A sensitive child is the strength of his parents. As you grow and be with Him, He will support you on the journey of a lifetime.
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