15 tips to develop empathy in children
There is something that is not only important, but necessary today and that is to promote empathy in the little ones in order to have a better coexistence, prevent bullying and strengthen self-esteem and social interaction.
However, empathy is something that is talked about a lot, but if it is not acquired from the earliest ages, it is difficult to internalize.
So, if you are a mother, father, teacher, or have a child in charge, read these tips carefully that will help you generate this feeling in children, but first clarify some concepts that are important to better understand this topic. and therefore to teach it.
What is empathy?
Empathy is nothing more than the ability to put ourselves in another person's shoes. That is, not to judge, but to try to understand the other from their perspective, remembering that we are all different and have different realities and different opinions.
So understanding and appreciating others, but also showing solidarity and feeling the need to support what a person needs, can be considered empathy.
Keep in mind that although we are all born with some degree of this feeling, it is true that it develops and strengthens throughout life, so it must be learned and put into practice, otherwise it will not develop over time. fullness.
Types of empathy
There are different types of empathy (they commonly occur depending on age), these are the most common:
It occurs during the first year of life, when we are still very young and it is what is given out of solidarity, without fully understanding why, for example, when a person cries and a baby cries with them, almost out of immediate reaction. The baby often confuses its interior and exterior.
Empathy between the first and second year
Here empathy evolves, the boy or girl understands that there is a world outside of him, inhabited by other people and he knows when one of those people around him is feeling bad, even if he does not know well how to console them.
The child understands that his feelings and emotions are different from those of those around him and begins empathy as adults understand it, that is, as the feeling that makes you put yourself in the other's place.
Empathy between 10 and 12 years
It is the maximum development of empathy as it is known, that is, at puberty, children are capable of caring about those around them, trying to console them, and what is called social concern is born, for example , for people who don't have to eat, or children who are sick, among others.
15 basic tips
Talk to your children about how they feel and how you think others feel in different situations. It is important that you do not judge them, also try that they do not judge the feelings or position of another, they can obviously express their opinion, but with respect and without the intention of offending.
Model empathetic behavior
Be an example of empathy in your daily life, showing compassion towards others, you cannot tell a child to be empathetic, when all the time you are criticizing and judging those who do not think like you.
Choose books with stories for kids that deal with issues of empathy and discuss them after reading. It is important that you give clear examples according to the child's age and that you also let him give you examples, according to what he understands.In case your child does not yet know how to read, take a look at the article: How to teach a child to read
Practice social situations through role play game for kids understand different perspectives, have them be in different situations, especially when they cannot understand an attitude well, invite them to reflect on what they would do.
Encourage your children to ask open questions about the feelings and experiences of others, above all, invite them to listen to and appreciate the point of view of others, without this meaning that they have to compromise their own.
Validate your children's emotions, even if you don't fully understand them. Do not doubt that they feel one way or another, believe when they tell you that they feel sad, or have felt offended and ask why, if for you it is something unimportant, understand that it is not for them and that is why what they say is valid. they feel.
Participate in volunteer activities together to show the importance of helping others. Let them be active, teach them, for example, to donate toys or clothes to those who need them and to give some time to people who need them.
Teach them to listen carefully when someone is speaking, showing genuine interest. As we told you before, listening is key for the child to learn to understand other situations.
Play in a group
Encourage group play so that children learn to share, cooperate and understand different perspectives, in addition to respecting certain basic rules or limits established in the game.
Talk about diversity
Explore cultural and ethnic diversity to promote tolerance and empathy towards people from different backgrounds. It teaches children to value each person regardless of their origin , showing how important and interesting it can be to learn about cultures that are so different or similar to their own.
Teach them skills to resolve conflicts in a peaceful and understanding way, dialogue is essential for conflict resolution to work assertively.
Help your children identify the needs of others and how and when they can help. It is important that they show that each person has different interests and needs and that there is no problem with that.
Learn from mistakes
Teaches that we all make mistakes and that it is important to ask for forgiveness and forgive. Continuing without punishing yourself and trying not to make the same mistake is the important thing.
Explore the non-verbal signals of emotions, such as body language and facial expressions, knowing how to respect all these signals is important to achieve empathy for the other, since sometimes we do not speak with words, but the body, Gestures and posture always communicate messages.
At the end of the day, ask your children about situations in which they showed empathy and how they felt when doing so, let them tell you about their day and also tell them the different experiences you could have had.
Empathy is one of the most important feelings and values of the human being, as it allows us to live with others without judging, understanding and valuing the difference, which is why it is vital that children learn to be empathetic.
With the previous tips you can boost all that empathy in the little ones, but remember that there is nothing better to teach than a good example, be empathetic and open to dialogue and listening, your children will appreciate it.
Trust Kiddus and follow the advice given here. If you want to take a look at the products on the web, you may be interested in some of them.