Empathy is a great trait that everyone should have. Not all can understand the difference between sympathy and empathy. Someone going through a hard time needs empathy as sympathy often indicates pity. Here are 3 simple ways to teach children to have empathy for others.
- Be a Role Model
The best way to influence children is by setting own example. Children learn best when they see their elders doing good deeds and helping others. Teach your children how to value and acknowledge the feelings of others by example. It is important to tell your children that feelings belong to everyone and everyone can feel sad, angry or even frustrated – just like them.
- Talk About Feelings
Talking about feelings can lead to children learning empathy. You can do that simply through role-play and stories. Talk about the cause and effect of a particular feeling and the reaction from others. Connect your children to a feeling through a previous experience. When children understand their own feelings, they will also learn to empathize.
As a parent, make sure that you keep your focus on empathy and not sympathy so that your children do not learn the latter, just the first thing. Feelings and emotions go a long way in creating a thought process in the young minds. Feeling someone else’s sadness and happiness helps children learn what life is all about.
- Provide Opportunity
Allow your children to take the lead when dealing with someone’s emotions. Provide plenty of opportunities in any way you can for your children to practice empathy. The best place to start this practice is at home. Sibling rivalry is very common and empathizing with each other can play a huge role in character building.
Show your children how being kind can benefit everyone involved in an activity. Everyday situations can actually be made easy if dealt with kindness.