Empathy, the ability to understand and share feelings, is one of the most important things that you teach and practice with your child. Empathy helps kids make friends, solve problems, and grow up to be successful. Researchers have found that kindergarteners who were able to share and help other kids were more likely to be successful in high school, employment, and beyond.
Kids are not born as experts in empathy. It is up to families to teach and practice it. Here are the basics for teaching empathy at home:
Model empathy in your own life
This does not mean you have to be perfect all of the time. Simply point out when and how you are showing compassion with others. You'll be surprised at how much your child can learn just by watching you.Make time to practice empathy together
Just like learning a new sport or instrument, empathy takes practice. Try volunteering at a local organization or work through problems at school or in the news. This will help your child learn why empathy is important and how it affects those around us.Help your child with their feelings
The better your child is at handling problems, the easier challenges will feel as they come along. By listening to and talking with your child about feelings they are having, you are directly helping them become an expert problem-solver, friend, student, and overall person!
Your child is learning about conflict resolution, problem solving, and predicting consequences in The Great Body Shop. Ask them about what they've learned and what steps they would take in tough situations.