Can we teach empathy to our kids? This sounds a bit strange, especially if we think of empathy as a talent or as something we either have or lack. But did you know that research suggests that empathy is a complex phenomenon involving several component skills?
Components of Empathy:
*A sense of self-awareness and the ability to distinguish my own feelings from the feelings of others.
*Taking another person’s perspective (“putting myself in another person’s shoes”).
*Being able to regulate my own emotional responses.
|Emotions Flash Cards|
I use picture flash cards that show faces with a broad spectrum of emotions and simply ask the children how they think this person is feeling...why? Do your remember a time you have felt that way? Very young children are very open with sharing personal stories. I often tell children my own life lessons of how I felt during certain situations at their age.
Talking to our kids about what we see through out the day; how it makes us feel and why, really help children to develop a s sense of awareness towards others.
What kinds of ways or scenarios could you use to teach or show empathy?