Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and analyzing a particular situation is an essential skill that needs to be honed right from early childhood days. If you have been wondering how to teach empathy to toddlers, go through these tips and implement the same while raising your child.
Have you ever noticed your child’s reaction when you get hurt? In caseyou haven’t, remember to check her face the next time you fall down or have an ache. You will be surprised to see your little one empathising with your pain. Children are naturally kind. However, parents must introduce appropriate activities and vocabulary towards strengthening the feeling of empathy in toddlers; so that they grow to become compassionate individuals.
Activities that Teach Empathy to Children
1. Show Compassion
One of the best ways of teaching empathy to toddlers is by being compassionate yourself. Attend to your child’s emotional needs. Along with that, show your concern towards other family members, friends, domestic helps, or pets. Talk to your child about happy events, and the sad or hurtful ones, alike. By observing you closely, children will learn to analyse situations from the other person’s perspective and develop the right kind of feelings.
2. Magic Words
How to teach empathy to children? Start by giving constant emphasis on good manners, this way children learn to respect elders and be polite towards them too. Teach your child to apologise when the situation calls for it. When your child fights with her friend or sibling, teach her to go up to the one she fought with and apologise immediately. Make her understand the impact of the magic words ‘please’,‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’.
Narrating emotion based stories help in the development of empathy in children. Such stories enhance the imagination skills of kids and make them think from the other person’s perspective. Compassionate events told through such stories help in setting a good example. The language used in these narratives also plays a big role in teaching toddlers how to self-regulate their feelings.
4. Allot Jobs
By assigning specific tasks to children; you make them more responsible and time-conscious. In fact, kids love performing simple jobs and take pride in executing them successfully. So, ask your child to clean the dining table after every meal, keep dishes in the sink, and feed the rabbits on time, and so on. Such activities will serve to be lessons on empathy for kids.
5. Appreciate Fully!
When your kid finishes a particular task to your satisfaction, appreciate her efforts. If you notice her sharing her chocolates with her friends or siblings, recognize her deed and let her know that you are impressed. Setting examples of empathy for kids to watch and learn from will also help.
There are no fixed lessons for teaching empathy to children. In fact, there’s no one who can tell you exactly at what age does a child develop empathy. It’s mostly an innate thing. However, with certain activities and lifestyle modifications, you can instil a deep sense of compassion and feelings for others in your tot – the right way.