When we think about empathy the images that come to our minds take on a different value. They acquire deep meanings and carry certain weight. Empathy is a complex phenomenon that requires self-awareness, the ability to distinguish between own feelings and those of others, and most commonly, it is about putting oneself in one other’s shoes. They seem skills learned in adulthood. But many adults find often difficult relating to others empathetically.
Empathy is an ability that we all have. Each one develops it in a different way through our own experiences but certainly requires some degree of exercise. This is also true for children. Here are our tips to better develop empathy in children.
1. Teach children how to recover from moments of anguish
When children need emotional support and find it home from the closest people to them, they will be more likely to help others as well.
2. Treat children as thinking individuals
and teach them that our emotions and desires affect behavior. Treating them as thinking individuals can help them relate in real life situations.
3. Do not miss the opportunities to get children understand others
For example,when you find victimized characters in tv shows or books, you can talk to your son wondering how that person can feel.
4. Let your child discover what he has in common with others
Encourage them to find out the similarities with other people. According to research, it allows children to be more prone to empathy and help others.
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5. Teach children others’ roles and perspectives
Books, films and role-playing games can help to put children in the shoes of others. To write or illustrate such emotions that contain a particular work, improve emotional understanding in children.
6. Mimic expressions
Play other people’s face mimicry with your kids. Let them guess other people’s face when they imagine their emotions. This will allow them to associate themselves effectively to others’ emotions. Activities such as theater can definitely help.
7. Being fair comes from oneself’s awareness
Try to convey the sense of fairness to children without implying a reward or a punishment. It is important that they understand the sense of morality is given by self awareness and not by a reward that they receive.
8. Teach kids to think with their own head
It is proven that people can do harm to others until somebody as an authority says that it is right. It is important to teach children to differ from situations they consider unfair. Make them understand that self-control is not just about being strong, but they need to be smart most of all.