How to teach empathy to kids?

How to teach empathy to kids?

Children nowadays are not only aware of the numerous crises facing the world like climate issues, environmental issues, etc, but are also taking an active part in bringing about environmental consciousness in terms of saving water, reducing the use of plastic, etc. This shows that today’s children have the empathy and maturity to understand various issues and are willing to work to solve it, so due credit must be given to them and parents should be encouraged to start inculcating the habit of empathy.

Here are some ways in which children understand more about empathy:

Sharing Toys and Books 

The adage ‘Charity Begins at Home’ is so true. So the best place to start inculcating the spirit of sharing and empathy in your little one is at home. Always encourage your kid to share their toys and storybooks with other kids who come over to play. Help them through the initial reluctance to share a few of their favourite toys by telling them (or even reading out) stories of sharing and the joy it brings.    

Helping the Elders 

Getting your kid to help out the elders at home in small ways is a good way to start. At home, they can be assigned the responsibility of helping their grandparents by fetching and carrying small items like spectacles, newspapers etc. 

Helping out in Simple Household Chores

Getting your kid involved in helping out in household chores will also inculcate empathy in them. Start with simple household chores like:

  • Helping you set the table (only non-breakable, blunt objects like placemats, plates and glasses)
  • Picking up after themselves – For example, putting away their toys after playing and setting their storybooks back on the shelf (which is set at their level) after they finish reading them.
  • Handing you vegetables and fruits from the shopping bag as you put it away.

Assisting you with these chores will help them understand and appreciate the efforts put in by the rest of the family and also give them a sense of joy and accomplishment.

These small steps will definitely go a long way in inculcating the qualities of empathy in your kid.