Cultivating Empathy – H&S Education & Parenting
Cultivating Empathy: Benefits & Tips
Empathy is the ability to understand how others feel and & be able to put yourself in their shoes, despite any differences. It’s basically about perspective-taking and compassion. It is a foundation needed to build good relationships, both personal and professional, & is key to preventing cruelty such as bullying, exploiting other’s weaknesses etc. The good news is, just like any other skill, empathy too can be taught and instilled in children. Keep reading if you want to learn how you can help cultivate empathy in your child.
3 Benefits Of Cultivating Empathy:
1. It helps you build social connections, which is important for both physical & psychological well-being.
2. It helps you manage your own emotions, without becoming overwhelmed.
3. It promotes helping behaviours.
5 Tips For Cultivating Empathy:
1. Be Their Role Model – Your child will only learn by watching and experiencing. You as a parent therefore need to empathize with your child and others, so your child can also learn to do the same.
2. Encourage Talking About Emotions- It’s easy to dismiss emotions, however, this is not the solution. If you want to cultivate empathy, you need to be able to discuss every emotion, and allow your child to experience them and most importantly teach them to manage those emotions in a healthy way.
3. Teach Them How To Help & Care For Others- If you want your child to be compassionate and value others’ perspectives, then it’s important you teach them the same. Helping others, be it at home, in the community or globally, is a good way to help develop kindness and compassion.
4. Allow Your Child To Practice Empathy- Empathy needs to be nurtured, and it requires regular practice and guidance. If your child is able to understand how others feel by considering their perspective regularly, then ‘being empathic’ becomes second nature to them, as it helps them attune to others’ feelings and perspectives.
5. Praise Your Child For Showing Empathy- If you want to encourage empathetic behaviour, you need to praise your child when they show empathy to others. Simple gestures such as, for example, helping a kid in class, or sharing lunch with another kid who forgot their lunch, should be praised, to help your child continue showing empathy.