Empathy quite literally sits at the centre of the recipe that makes up a human being. It is the foundation that is laid to ensure individuals are able to build good relationships and live harmoniously amongst others. It is also an instant remedy for bullying and any other form of cruelty. This quality begins when a person gains the ability to look at situations from different perspectives. However, it isn’t just about the capability of being able to see from different points of view, it is about caring too. Empathy quite literally includes valuing other perspectives as well as people. Having compassion and understanding are all part of what makes up this value. So, what can be done to ensure your child gains this valuable quality? Below is some advice from this independent college in Somerset on teaching your child to empathise with others.
A good model
Children learn best from the way they witness the adults around them speak and behave. If empathy is a characteristic that you would like your child to attain, you need to possess it yourself to begin with. Have empathy for your child and those around you as this is what helps your child understand the benefits such as trust and secure attachments. These simple attachments and observations of kind acts are what help little ones to build empathy towards others. Note that children watch and learn from everything they see the grown-ups around them do. Do your best to be on your A game and show empathy to all that you come across.
Make caring a priority
In order for children to value the perspectives of others and to show compassion to them, it is extremely important that they hear from their parents that it is a top priority to take care of others the same way they would do for themselves. Reconsider the messages that you give your child on a daily basis. For example, instead of telling your child that ‘the most important thing in life is that they are successful and happy’, you may want to change it to ‘be kind and spread happiness’. This slight shift in mindset can change their entire approach to life and the way they live it.