In my last blog post, I recommended books that parents and teacher can purchase to help the children in their lives develop a sense of empathy.
Today, I’d like to share some tips developed by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D. and published in Parenting Science Magazine, that will assist you in nurturing empathy in your children...
- Research indicates that when a child’s emotional needs are met at home, he or she is better equipped to develop a sense of empathy.
- Start treating your child as someone who has a mind of his own and share ways that our feelings can influence our behavior to further a greater good.
- Take opportunities to model—and induce—sympathetic feelings for other people. You can point out situations that call for empathy. For example, explain how litter – especially plastics – is endangering creatures that live in our oceans.
- Emphasize what your children may have in common with other children.
- Teach kids to care about hunger when they aren’t hungry. In other words, teach them to care about social and environmental issues even when they are feeling comfortable in the world.
by Elizabeth B. Martin