Empathy is the intention to understand feelings and emotions, trying to objectively and rationally experience what another individual feels, that is, the ability to put oneself in the place of the other.
Sadness, joy, fear, anger, are feelings that we have all had at some time. On our site we tell you why it is so important that we foster empathy in children and how to make them empathic.
When children are very young they think that the whole world revolves around them. As they get older they understand and cry when they see that Bambi is left without a mother or laugh if they see a funny movie and, that happens, because they identify with the characters and the emotions of others. That means that begin to develop the capacity for empathy. If we help them to name those emotions, to express what happens to them, they will immediately learn to be empathetic, that is, to care about the needs of others, to be understanding, therefore, they will acquire fundamental social skills to interact with the rest of the people.
Children learn by our example. If adults pay attention to the things that happen to them and make them see that we care and take their opinions into account, we will surely make them empathic with others.Everyday situations are the school for learning empathy.
Imagine that we are at home and Juan, our little neighbor, arrives crying because his dog has disappeared. We immediately go out to the street to look for his pet and at night we ask our son, how do you think Juan feels? We will know immediately that the child has empathy because he will feel and show us that he is sad and worried.
Empathic children are more communicative because they know how to express their emotions better and they have greater self-esteem because they feel more secure, therefore, it is very important that they learn to listen and to be observers.
- Resorting to stories, songs, poetry, is a good idea for children to learn to be empathetic.
- Make plays representing the characters in a story, exchange the roles of each, It is good for them to realize how each one feels.
- We can put some drawings in your room, on the refrigerator door, etc. with faces showing different emotions and, throughout the day, taking advantage of everyday situations, we can ask the child to choose one that shows how he feels at that moment. So little by little you will know how to express how you feel, whether you are sad, happy or angry, you will know how to name each emotion and you will understand when the other person has those same feelings.
If others feel that we are empathic, they will trust us more, starting with our children.
To finish, I leave you a phrase from Lawrence J .: «Empathy is like giving someone a psychological hug»
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