3 Ways to Develop Empathy in Children

pexels-photo-298825 (1)

The foundation that develops the characteristics of a child’s personality is a mixture of genes and internalization via socialization. After home, preschools become the first encounter toddlers have of the social world. It is crucial to teach children to be empathetic as it helps them in building strong relationships and sense of security, and in achieving good mental health and social harmony. Here are 3 ways in which you can intricately weave empathy in a child.

Lead by example

Children are keen observers. At home it is the parents that the children observe and mimic. Emotions, expressions, reactions and various other actions are all what children pick through observation. This makes it both easy and difficult to teach children values. It is easy because you don’t have to do anything other than setting an example. However, it remains difficult because one cannot always keep their act together given how complex modern lives are. So, for instance like in stressful situations if we breakdown they will observe and pick that too. Children primarily notice how we treat them so whenever a teacher or parent is having a conversation or is interacting with the child in any way, it is important to remain mindful of your own self – remembering that what you do is what they will learn. Remember to remain empathetic at all times by remaining calm and acknowledging them.

Teach and validate emotions

Children feel all sorts of emotions too and if a teacher or a parent notices a display of emotion, be it good or bad, it is important to acknowledge what the child is feeling. Trouble begins when you do not educate the child about what they are feeling and how to channel it. Beyond their own selves, when a child has had an encounter with a peer, or an elder, or even an animal, take the opportunity to teach them emotions. For instance if the child hits something or someone, explain to him how that thing might be feeling upset as the child would if he was in a similar situation. Teach them how to fix their situation, to apologize and to express. This will lead them to understand empathy and practice it.

Enable interactions

Teach children how to regard fellow and other beings. Caring for plants and animals too counts as a step towards being empathetic. For instance, not stepping on insects unnecessarily, not picking flowers and understanding that these are living, breathing organisms and just how wrong it would be to take away something’s life or to even hurt them. This helps children understand that they too play a role in the well being of another living thing and the happiness and contentment they will feel through this will develop well between the lines of empathy. Preschools are where children interact with each other there, learning how to share, forgive, apologize, and grow while understanding each other. These interactions become crucial in their development as social beings, which is why preschool brisbane teachers should rely on activities which demand interaction.