Understanding empathy from a young age is an important trait for children to learn and carry with them through their growth and development. Throughout that process, there are helpful tools and activities that not only encourage children to think about empathy, but also adapt it to their daily lives.
Helpful Ways to Teach Children Empathy:
- Ask questions about characters in a TV show, movie, book, or even on social media.
- What were some choices that character made?
- How do you think they were feeling?
- How do you think their friend is feeling? Is this a good friendship?
- What could they have done differently?
- Read children’s books about empathy.
Some Suggested Readings:
- Model empathy. When you embody kind and caring behavior, your child will learn from example.
- Empathize with your child. Understand why they are feeling a certain way and give them love and support.
- Show how they can care for others
- Saying “Please and Thank You”
- Picking up their toys after use
- Listen while others are talking
- Acknowledge when they show empathy.
- Encourage them to talk about their feelings.