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Looking for ways to develop empathy in kids? Read on to find out our recommended top 5!
Fri Jun 3, 2022
If you had a choice to work with someone who is kind, caring and considerate and someone who doesn’t care about your thoughts and feelings, who would you choose? The answer is very simple. And the same applies to kids as well. If your child had an option to be friends with someone who takes their feelings into account, is considerate and cooperative and someone who doesn’t care about their thoughts and feelings, and is a bully, who would they choose?
Empathetic kids make empathetic adults, and that’s why it becomes really important to teach empathy to kids. People who are skilled at feeling empathy and compassion are better leaders, better entrepreneurs, better parents, and better friends.
Very simply put, empathy is the ability to put oneself in someone else’s shoes and understand what they are feeling or experiencing. In the early years, kids are ego-centric and therefore, put their needs first, finding it hard to care about others’ needs and feelings. That’s why there is a need to consciously teach them this very important quality.
Here are a our top 5 ways that will help you develop empathy in kids-
1. Model empathy- Kids learn by observation, and in their early years, they are constantly watching their parents and teachers. So make sure you practice what you preach. If you want your children to be empathetic, start by displaying empathy yourself. When they see you, their role models, being empathetic, they naturally will emulate you and develop empathy.
2. Develop Self-Awareness- Self awareness is very important to developing empathy in kids. Kids who are self-aware would be able to recognise their own feelings and emotions and thereafter relate to those of others. They would understand the consequences of their words and actions, and refrain from doing or saying things that can be hurtful to others.
3. Labelling feelings- Being aware of their emotions and have the ability to recognise them and then label them, helps kids develop empathy and compassion. Kids who are able to label their own emotions would be able to better relate to the emotions of others and thereby be more empathetic.
4. Ask “how would you feel”- Asking “how would you feel” will help kids develop empathy. Through this they are constantly required to put themselves in place of the other person and analyse if they would feel good or bad. By stepping into the shoes of other people, they are able to feel exactly how the person would be feeling, and this develops empathy in them
5. Meditation- This is a very powerful tool that can help kids develop empathy. Meditating opens up the heart centre through which kids are able to empathise, forgive and forget, develop deeper friendships and healthy relationships.
Given its immense benefits, parents and caretakers must help kids develop this life skill that would benefit kids throughout their lives.
Founder- BodhiShishu, Social- Emotional Learning (SEL) Coach for kids.
Passionate about enriching children's lives through meditation.
Now teach empathy to kids through Bodhishishu’s age-appropriate meditation courses that use the play and learn methodology. Taught through stories, animations, worksheets, affirmations and more, our courses are fun and effective.
Level 1- Foundation Course- Meditations for Self-Awareness
Level 1- Meditations for Developing Empathy
Level 2- Foundation Course- Meditations for Patience