Being a mindful parent is easier than one may think. Part of being more mindful as a parent is to be aware of what type of emotional skills you need to practice to ensure your children grow up to exhibit these qualities.
Today we’re talking about tips for cultivating empathy with children. These tips will help you be a good role model for your children and help you teach them about empathy. Empathy is a skill that many will argue doesn’t exist in the world today, but we feel it’s there.
Use these tips to create a happier and healthier home by helping your children see how being emotionally intelligent can change the world and their life.
What is Empathy?
Empathy is the ability to step back during a situation and see how the other person is feeling. This helps you better recognize that other people are their own person with different feelings and perspectives than you have. This also helps you be more compassionate in replies to others when dealing with conflict.
Empathy is an important emotional tool for parents and children to master so that they can better help the world be a more compassionate place.
Practice Empathy with Words
The best way to cultivate empathy with children is to practice empathy with words. When your child seems to be distressed or concerned about something, have a little chat with them. Using words like “I understand” or “I see you may feel this way”, will help your child express their feelings.
When your child starts to respond to your empathetic questions, they’ll start to comprehend how being empathetic makes them feel. They’ll see this quality as a good quality and mimic this behavior in their everyday lives.
Get out the Children’s Books
There are so many children’s books available that help your child understand empathy. You can cultivate empathy with children using storytime. These books can be read in the middle of the day or before bed to help your child start to grasp the concept of empathy.
Many children learn best through engagement and fun. Reading books to your children over and over will help instill the concept of empathy so that they’re more equipped to understand this mindful response to others.
Validate your Child’s Emotions
Last, but not least, make sure you validate your child’s emotions. While you may not think your child should be super upset about something, that’s how they feel. Helping your child feel safe and secure when they express their big emotions using empathy will boost their confidence.
As you continue to support your child with their emotional responses and use empathy to respond to them, they’ll start to master the skill of empathy. These are just a few ways to start cultivating empathy with children that really only take a few minutes of your time during each scenario.