Advertisement

How can I nurture empathy in my child?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Kids who are empathic can understand where other people are coming from because they can put themselves in their shoes and feel how they feel. And because they can “feel with” someone else, they are more generous, unselfish, and caring. So nurture your child’s empathy to help him see beyond himself, and into the views of others, and here are three ways to do so.

Point out other’s emotions. Point out the facial expressions, posture and mannerisms of people in different emotional states as well as their predicaments helps kids tune into other people’s feelings. As occasions arise, explain your concern and what clues helped you make your feeling assessment: “Did you notice Kelly’s face when you were playing today?  I was concerned because she seemed worried about something. Maybe you should talk to her to see if she’s okay.”

Imagine someone’s feelings. Help your kid imagine how the other person feels about a special situation. “Imagine you’re a new student and you’re walking into a brand new school and don’t know anyone. How will you feel?” Asking often, “How would you feel?” helps kids understand the feelings and needs of other people.

Ask often, “How does the other person feel?” Look for daily situations that could nurture empathy. Then pose questions using that situation to help guide your child to consider how the person feels.
The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

More About this Book

The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

Today show's Michele Borba's cures for difficult childhood behaviors In this down-to-earth guide, parenting expert Michele Borba offers advice for dealing with children's difficult behavior and hot...

Continue Learning about Parenting

Seven Steps to Raising a Lifelong Learner
Seven Steps to Raising a Lifelong Learner
Encouraging a love of learning is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. Although your level of involvement will change often -- someti...
Read More
What is my role in my child's development?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
You are the river guide on your child's journey down the river of life. Watch this video as Dr. Mike...
More Answers
Embarrassing Questions You Wish Your Kids Wouldn’t Ask
Embarrassing Questions You Wish Your Kids Wouldn’t AskEmbarrassing Questions You Wish Your Kids Wouldn’t AskEmbarrassing Questions You Wish Your Kids Wouldn’t AskEmbarrassing Questions You Wish Your Kids Wouldn’t Ask
Every parent is going to face an embarrassing question they’re not quite ready for. Check out these questions you might hear and smart ways to answer ...
Start Slideshow
Heidi Shares Her Meal-Planning Tricks
Heidi Shares Her Meal-Planning Tricks

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.