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A guide for teaching empathy to kids

Raising a child is like molding a clay pot; you can mold them into a good person in their initial years of life much like a clay pot. In a world where everyone thinks the universe revolves around them (thanks to social media), it is hard to find people who are truly empathetic. And raising your child in this narcissistic world can be quite a task when they are surrounded by so many things out there that can influence them.

Making sure that your child grows into a wonderful person with high Emotional Quotient is a challenge, but here is a guide to help you with the challenge.

Talk to them after a conflict

Talk to them

Children often fight among themselves but instead of chiding them for it, you can use such opportunities to teach them empathy. After the conflict, sit down with them discuss how they and the other child they fought with felt like. It will help them to view emotions from other’s perspective and understand them better.

Keep a tab on your own behavior

Children learn most of the things by copying their parents. If you do tell your child to watch their language but you don’t mind your own language around them, your child will feel perplexed. They will not be able to comprehend whether they ought to follow your instructions seriously.

Use books and movies

mothering

Your child may soon get bored listening to values being recited to them all the time and then they may start avoiding them altogether. A more effective way to instilling empathy in your kids is by using books and movies. Use stories as a medium to inspire kids to be more empathetic towards others and the rewards it reaps.

Don’t over-praise

It is a good way to praise kids for their kind actions but overdoing can cause a distraction. They will associate their validity with kind actions and might start doing it to merely receive praises. Try to encourage their kind actions but avoid praising them for small acts of kindness. It will urge them to be kind without expecting appreciations.

Let them approach differently-abled people

differently-abled people

Hushing your child when they ask questions about differently-abled people can turn them into prejudiced people. They should understand that people with disabilities are not different from us. When your child asks questions or approaches, such people, support them and let them interact. This will teach your kids to ask respectful questions and gather knowledge about such people.

Volunteer with them

By not exposing your child to the harsh realities of this world and keeping them in a safe cocoon can be harmful. They need to understand and feel grateful for what they have while learning to be kind towards who lack the necessities of life. Participate in volunteer programs with them so that they understand that it is their responsibility to help others in need.

Appreciate kindness

Appreciate-kindness

Never let go of a chance to appreciate your child when they are kind towards others. Praise their actions and make them aware how good the other person must have felt. It will urge them to be kind towards others and contemplate other’s emotions.

Teach them to be tolerant towards differences

There are people who ridicule and are offensive towards people who are different from them. To ensure that your child doesn’t grow up to be such a person, you need to teach them to be tolerant towards differences. Let them interact with different people; it will teach them to be tolerant towards them and respect them as individuals.

Speak them for those who can’t speak for themselves

 teaching empathy to kids

An important part of being empathetic involves being able to interpret the emotions of those who can’t speak for themselves like babies and animals. Teach your child to take care of animals and children so that they can understand their emotions without being told directly.

Talk to them about why the baby is reacting the way he is and help your child reach a correct possible conclusion. And similarly, teach them to treat animals kindly and make them aware that they too feel pain even when they can’t express it because of lack of facial features and speech.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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