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How do you teach your child empathy?

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Asked by tspillane at 6:45 PM on Jun. 5, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 30 (43,823 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • My 6 year old really seems to get empathy rationally.

    I try it like this... "WHAT did you say? You said you are going to hurt your sister. Do you remember when Gage said he would hurt you? How did you feel? Do you want your sister to feel like that? No. Are you sorry you said that? Tell her you're sorry. If you don't want to make people feel like you felt when Gage was mean to you, then never say those things to anyone" I way simplify for the younger ones, via emotions, less reasoning.

    When anyone in the family is sad, like today, the 2 year old will say "You crying? You upset?" (then be really silly) "I make you smile? I make you happy?" The 4 and 6 year olds will tell whoever "I love you" and give them hugs. Of course, if they are angry at that person, they won't do this, but normally they will.

    In our family, we have more danger for too much empathy (leading to over-sensitivity, anxiety and depression) than too little.

    Answer by Tracys2 at 6:55 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • They will model what they see their parents do so one of the best ways is to be caring of others all the time and it will start to sink in.

    Answer by whitepeppers at 7:40 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • I agree with whitepeppers...Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Answer by Ruthmom802 at 8:56 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • By example. Anything worth learning cannot be taught in words.

    Answer by PTmomma3 at 9:05 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • Let her see you and talk about it. Learning empathy is a developmental milestone and babies start showing it around 18 months.

    Answer by Kitkat61277 at 10:47 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

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