To Do: Make empathy a family value.
Materials: Tips below!
What can you do to be more empathetic?
Mark Ruffalo and Murray from Sesame Street describe empathy as “when you’re able to understand and care about how someone else is feeling.”
Do you practice empathy at home? While it may seem like this is a value that is difficult to practice, Jessica Lahey in the New York Times has 5 suggestions to help your child develop empathy.
Give them a try!
1. “Empathize with your child and model how to feel compassion for others.” You are your child’s first teacher. Be more empathetic and your children will too!
2. “Make caring for others a priority and set high ethical expectations.” How do you care for others? Put this practice above other family priorities.
3. “Provide opportunities for children to practice.” Volunteer your time to practice empathy, or have special time at dinner to speak about feelings and empathize.
4. “Expand your child’s circle of concern.” Again, volunteering to help those in need would help your child empathize with people outside their family circle. Watch appropriate world news to empathize with those that are far away as well!
5. “Help children develop self-control and manage feelings effectively.” Read books, speak often about emotions, and help your child develop coping skills for big feelings like anger or frustration.
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