Recently, some our our teachers attended a conference on self-regulation and empathy with field expert Bob Sornson of the Early Learning Foundation. The following resource to develop empathy in the home and classroom was shared with our teachers, which we wanted to pass along to you.
1. Start with safety and security. Fear interferes with the development of empathy. Learn to set limits in the home or classroom with respect and love.
2. Regular family or classroom routines build a sense of predictable security for children. Well established routines also help children practice self-regulation skills.
The Guardian Teacher Network has resources to help introduce the concept of mindfulness to pupils, to help them be calm, focused and creative
All teachers want their students to be calm, focused, alert, aware and creative, which is essentially what mindfulness is all about, so it's no wonder the term has become a bit of a buzzword, even in mainstream education.
The Guardian Teacher Network has resources to help introduce mindfulness to young people at school (and at home) and to help them develop some essential life skills.
Six tips on how to reach children through our actions.
So, what are the most effective ways of showing empathy through our gestures? The non-verbal interaction between adults and children is actually not much different than that between adults alone. The point is that it is necessary to communicate effectively with children now if we are to teach them empathy on a non-verbal platform. That being said, here are a few tips on how to make children feel important, trusting and understood:
Put yourself on their level
Adults are larger in stature than children, so they often look down at children. And adults can seem intimidating as a result. Simply kneeling down alongside a child’s desk creates a sense of equality between adult and child because they are at the same level. This creates trust, and it makes children more likely to share their concerns.
Randy Taran, founder of Project Happiness, presents an empathy lesson plan for classrooms.
By focusing on empathy, we are addressing the root causes of bullying and giving kids the skills they need to become the empathic leaders the world is calling for.
Here's a lesson plan, designed to enhance social and emotional learning, which explores the five steps to empathy.
There's some homework for parents too! For empathy to really take hold, everyone has to get involved. The good news is that it is possible, and the changes we make now will ripple out to future generations.
Unit 2: Empathy & Critical Thinking activities focus on promoting emotion understanding and empathy and helping children become flexible thinkers by becoming aware and thinking critically about their own ideas and about the messages they receive from others.
Activities and Storybooks:
2.1 Recognizing Feelings Storybook: Feelings on the Outside, Feelings on the Inside
Reflective listening is very simple. So simple that it’s easy to skip it and go directly to addressing the issue. Afterall, when a fight is happening we want it to stop immediately, right? We’re here to get answers and obviously if I address the content of what you’re telling me you’re upset about then you’ll feel better and we can move on, right? Wrong. As it turns out, many if not all of us have a strong desire to be listened to.
More than having our problems fixed, we want to feel heard. More than being given some thing that we’re asking for, we want to be listened to. More than hearing “I’m sorry”, we long to hear “I accept you just as you are.” Reflective listening can offer all of that.
"So what direction is your child getting at home during these years? Are they hearing conversations that mock other human beings, belittling and degrading certain types of people? Are other individuals or families being criticized in your home for any reason? Are your children hearing themselves being mocked and belittled by comments like, “What’s wrong with you?”, “Why are you so dumb?”, or “I’ve had it with you!”?"
In the so-called age of narcissism, it's been said that empathy is declining -- and some research has shown that social media is causing us to become more self-obsessed than ever before. But whether or not selfishness is actually on the rise, it's safe to say that we need compassion more than ever.
Eastern spiritual practices have long touted the importance of compassion as a necessary ingredient for building happy lives and peaceful nations ("Without [compassion], humanity cannot survive," the Dalai Lama wrote in The Art of Happiness). Now, Western science is catching up to this ancient wisdom...
Here are six insights that will change the way you think about compassion -- and revolutionize your approach to giving and social connection...
Our mission is to foster kind and respectful homes, schools and communities. Please join us! :)
Jeremiah's Hope for Kindness's insight:
We are coming up on the 7th anniversary of Jeremiah's suicide, Oct. 22. This year (and every year) we would like to dedicate the tragic day that Jeremiah took his life stating he no longer wanted "to live in a world where people were so cruel" as a day of renewing our commitment to spreading kindness and creating kind and respectful homes, schools and communities for ALL youth, adults and all beings. :) This is a day we will not only rededicate ourselves to this mission but also create a plan on how we will change our thoughts, words and behavior so that we are living each day from a place of kindness and compassion towards all beings. Change takes time and is usually a series of small steps. What small step can we commit to doing that will add kindness to our world? Change requires being intentional. We often need a plan to carry through our good intentions or they get lost among everything else in our day. We invite you to also rededicate and make plans to continue to foster kind and respectful homes, schools and communities.
Please share and invite others!! ♥ There are flyers and handouts with suggestions for families, schools, youth and adult groups available on our website for printing and sharing. Please do share them! Also, please join our Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/511729948917066/
This is the official website for World Smile Day ®, created by Harvey Ball of Worcester, MA, who in 1963 designed the original smiley face. World Smile Day® is celebrated around the world on the first Friday of October every year.
Jeremiah's Hope for Kindness's insight:
Today is World Smile Day!! A smile is a powerful way to spread kindness. Let's all share more smiles today and see what happens!! :) ~Ann (Jeremiah's mom)
A manager plans team-building activities to increase a team's effectiveness. If team members develop better listening skills, such as empathy, they can become more attuned to group needs. They can communicate more often in response to this emotional information. Showing concern for a speaker's needs makes the speaker feel that he is being heard.
Play a Listening Game
Team-building activities promote good listening. A manager can vary Dr. Carl Rogers' listening game by assigning employees to choose a partner and try this activity. The first partner speaks honestly for 30 seconds while the other partner listens. The second partner must restate what his partner said. This process continues until the second partner can restate the first speaker's main point and the first speaker is satisfied. Then the partners switch roles and play the game again.
Teach Empathy's Relationship to Customer Service ...
Listening with understanding and empathy is a skill that can be taught, not unlike mathematics or science. Engage in fun activities with your children while teaching a better understanding of their ...
1. Talk about what you care about. When you see qualities like compassion and generosity displayed, point them out, whether it’s at the dinner table, while grocery shopping, or in a movie (quietly). Without our realizing, our youngest daughter was paying attention to the conversations on service, friendship, caring and global developments that we were having with other adults and our older daughters. When we frame complex ideas through a lens of positive qualities, then difficult situations, nearby or far-away, become less overwhelming, and the vocabulary to talk about peaceful solutions starts building.
How can we define compassion, in a workable and understandable way, as a starting point to understanding the greatest weapon you and I will ever have ? Lets look to the internet, and Wikipedia, the first choice for the computer generation.
Wikipedia describes compassion as:
“Compassion is the virtue of empathy for the suffering of others. It is regarded as a fundamental part of human love and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism – foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood..
Why is compassion so powerful ? I believe it changes us, and our understanding of the world. Compassion reflects the non dualistic nature. We are all in this together. And nobody gets out alive. We feel compassion because, when we see suffering, we should realise that another person’s suffering is also our own suffering. And our suffering is their suffering. We are all one, so all our suffering is one too. Even the suffering of animals is also ours to share. We all exist on this planet together. As human beings, we should be working towards relieving the suffering of everyone we meet, no matter what the nature of their suffering may be, and no matter what our relationship with them.
When we humanize our enemies, our resilience grows and we suffer less...
In order to be in empathic dialogue, I must be able to imagine being the other person. It's a deep discipline for me. It requires me to overcome the righteous pleasure of writing off the other person; of making myself ever so slightly superior, more human, more caring; of keeping my world safe and protected by eschewing others. I come face to face with the undeniable reality that this person who did this act is human just as much as me.
I plunge into that other world, that other and different experience that gave rise to that which is mysterious to me. Through that, I find them, I find their heart, even if they have lost it. I find their care, however deeply buried it is, even if they actively protest and deny it. I reach for their heart even when it's well hidden and protected, so well that they themselves don't see it.
Dogs may empathize with humans more than any other animal, including humans themselves, several new studies suggest.
The latest research, published in the journal Animal Cognition, found that pet dogs may truly be man (or woman's) best friend if a person is in distress. That distressed individual does not even have to be someone the dog knows.
"I think there is good reason to suspect dogs would be more sensitive to human emotion than other species," co-author Deborah Custance told Discovery News. "We have domesticated dogs over a long period of time. We have selectively bred them to act as our companions.