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Teaching your Kids about Empathy

This morning while walking thru our backyard I saw my son Ashley laughing and taunting his younger cousin who fell down on his knees while playing. Honestly, I got a bit concern that my son reacted that way and my conscience immediately told me that I should call his attention and teach him to behave properly.

I asked him what would he feel when his brother and his cousins laugh at him whenever he falls.

It’s hard at first to teach your kids about empathy but I think the greatest key to that is to be a role model and explain to them why that matter thru proper parenting techniques.

Can empathy be taught? How do you teach children of different ages to be empathetic?

(photo credits : Spanglishbaby.com)

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in another’s place and to take that perspective into account in your relationship with the other person. Empathy is caring about the answer to the question, “How would I feel if I were in her shoes?” Unlike skills that require abstract thought, such as mathematics or reading, empathy is a way of relating to others. It cannot be taught formally, but is learned by imitating those who are important to us.

You need to set the example — be empathetic and caring to your child and others, and she will learn. Because she loves you, believes you are perfect, and wants to be just like you, she will grow up wanting to treat herself and others with the same loving kindness she gets from you. By understanding your child’s needs and responding to them in a loving way, you teach her to understand and love herself and to understand and cherish others.

It’s also important to account for your child’s developmental immaturity. Infants and young children normally base their sense of well-being on their ability to get what they want when they want it. The toddler or preschooler who wants a toy will grab it, whether or not it is attached to another child, and she won’t want to share a favorite toy with a friend who asks for it. This is normal behavior for her age, and you do not need to worry that if you don’t come down hard on her she will grow up to be selfish and uncaring.

In reality, your child will not be ready to be a sharing, caring friend until after she turns 3. At that point, she will share because (most of the time) her friends will be more important to her than her possessions. So you don’t need to try to teach your child about the feelings and rights of others. Just continue to love, care for, and enjoy her. By imitating you, she will learn to treat others with the same consideration.

Learn more the author of this post:

Admin
A mom to two cute little boys and loved by a wonderful man. She has been blogging since 2007 where she started it as an her online journal. Her love for blogging has been her emotional outlet which lead her to discover her other skills. She loves doing reviews that talks about shopping, beauty, toys, clothing, health, travel, food, restaurants and almost about everything.

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10 Comments so far »

  1. by Olivia Fernandez, on May 24 2013 @ 2:31 am

     

    Kung ano nakikita ng bata sa matanda, yun din ginagaya right? we should really teach our kids about these important lessons in life…nice article mommy

  2. by Mommy Eds, on May 24 2013 @ 3:21 am

     

    You’re right sis. Thank you for appreciating. :)

  3. by Apple, on May 24 2013 @ 3:22 am

     

    Yes, I agree that kids learn by example. It’s really up to us grown ups to teach them right from wrong.

  4. by michi, on May 24 2013 @ 4:28 am

     

    Whenever I attend school activities, I also notice that some kids don’t know empathy and sympathy. Sad to hear but that is the reality but I do hope my son will not be like them.

  5. by Rebel Sweetheart, on May 24 2013 @ 2:11 pm

     

    Live by example. Practice what you preach. I couldn’t agree more with this post. :)

  6. by Mitchteryosa, on May 24 2013 @ 2:41 pm

     

    Kids these days have more stronger personalities but with proper guidance, they’d be fine. Basta kelangan kino-correct agad sila.

  7. by Itsberyllicious, on May 25 2013 @ 4:48 pm

     

    I believe empathy could be taught.. The discipline and teachings of the parent actually builds the personality and character of a child.. So it will be better to teach the value of empathy and other good values as early as now :)

  8. by Krisna, on May 26 2013 @ 3:29 am

     

    I agree with Itsberylicious. We are building the personality and character of our children by what we do and by who we are in their eyes. :)

  9. by Irene, on May 27 2013 @ 5:48 am

     

    I strongly believe also that setting an example and walking by the rule will help them understand more. Kids learn fast and as parents, we should be more keen and observe their behavior esp in their formative years.

  10. by serene shikukeza, on May 27 2013 @ 6:44 pm

     

    The elders should set good example to the kids. They are just like sponge who absorbs everything from the parents most especially. Agree with this!

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