How to teach empathy to a child

How to teach empathy to a child

Having empathy on the part of parents is essential for the child to develop himself. This learning requires a lot of patience, listening, sharing and an ability to curb his desire to take control of the situation.

Empathy is an emotion that allows us to care about the consequences of our actions on others. It makes us feel remorse after an error, and helps us to fix it. It is essential to maintaining close and healthy social relationships. So what about children who did not develop it? How can we help them? How in many cases with regard to education, the example remains the most powerful tool for a parent.

When a child receives empathy , he gains the ability to feel that emotion himself , says Psychology Today . For example, if your child is teased in the playground , your first instinct will be to try to fix the problem, or to explain why your classmates are wrong. Instead, go for some reassuring words and a hug, sharing the pain and frustration of your child. You can then think about a solution together.

Listen and share

Saying “do not be angry” or “do not be sad” or “you are too sensitive” makes the pain, anger or sadness worse , because the child feels lonely with his feelings. While answering him by saying “You are frustrated, I understood, and I am frustrated with you,” it allows him to feel understood and supported. When a parent feels compelled to solve the problem for his child, he puts himself in a position of power . He takes control of the situation and deprives the child of his right of reply , showing him that it is better to play the victim in case of problems.

Despite all his good will, a parent can not stop his child from feeling hurt, angry, disappointed, or sad. These are human emotions . All he can do is stay tuned and share that feeling, to help the toddler feel less alone. A child who is constantly receiving empathy acquires the ability to regulate negative emotions in a healthy way. And it integrates the ability to have empathy for others.

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