How To Build Empathy in Children

02 Jul
Minaish Dhabhar

Hi everyone.

It's so important, especially with everything that is going on in the world today, for our future generations to be empathetic, loving, kind and all-round good human beings.

However, with so much hate and war and politics going around, we tend to get carried away with negativity. I truly believe mindsets are more powerful than all the weapons put together, so how do we build this strong humanitarian mindset in our children? How do we raise the kind of children that genuinely, and I mean, genuinely care for others?

What are some ways to teach them what genuine empathy is and inculcate the feeling within them?

Additionally, what are some ways to teach ourselves to be more genuine and empathetic towards other human beings?

Responses 3

  • SAKSHI BAJAJ
    SAKSHI BAJAJ   Jul 02, 2017 11:14 PM

    Hi,

    You have raised very important concerns regarding our future generations and the kind of world we are creating for them. There is so much hate and barbarity in today's times that it makes my heart bleed and just give up on all this. I keep thinking what's the point? What are we doing all this for? Planning each day, striving for more, when someone with a twisted idea of religion, love or hate can kill us in a matter of seconds. People are after each others' blood. There is so much to be afraid of now. But we still keep going. We don't lose hope. So, the only way to escape this monstrosity is to raise children that are kind and compassionate and value life. Not caste, gender, religion or race. We have to teach our children to be open-minded and accepting of people that are different than them, in any way. We can't propogate discrimination and have to set worthy examples for them to follow suit. I feel the utmost important step we need to take is to raise our kids as humans and not a gender. We need to instill the same values in them and not assign different roles to them.or tell them to express or emote in a way that has been typical to a particular gender for centuries now. We, as adults need to  watch our each step carefully because that's where children learn from. Practice empathy and your child will follow. Spread love each chance you get beacuse there's enough hate to go around. Love is what we need. Because that is how the world changes, good people raising their kids right. 

  • Melissa D'souza
    Melissa D'souza   Jul 02, 2017 09:33 PM

    Hi,

    Theres always going to be war,hatred,love,humanity in this world as long as there are biotic elements. But its what a person chooses to be inspite of external factors affecting them,is what truly matters. Hence one may be surrounded by misery,lust,hatred,poverty,prosperity but it is what they choose to let them influence them.

     Hence in the same light,we should encourage children to be a righteous individual and emphasise choice.  Viktor Frankl's existential theory sole focus is on the choices one has at every point in life.Similarly every individual can chose to be emphathetic or vice.

    For kids,the most common method is inculcating in them earliest that others matter and utmost care should be taken of ourselves and themselves.We must also encourage them to share with others.We must encourage them to ask others how they are doing and also appear trustworthy.This all may sound too mcuh for a child as young as  3-4,but we can still do so by moderating it to their level, e.g kids love their soft toys.Inculcating empathy in them can be done in this way-If a child hits their soft toy repeatedly the adult can make the child understand that the behaviour is unacceptable.The adult must emphasise such behaviours are mean,unfair and can cause great pain to the other person. 

     Teaching a child to be understanding and caring from a young age is the key to making empathetic young individuals.

  • APOORVA PANDEY
    APOORVA PANDEY   Jul 02, 2017 07:58 PM

    Hey

    Merely telling kids to be emphatetic or genuinely care for others isn't really a solution to this. True that children tend to see the ongoing situation of war and confilct around them and may get influenced, however, one must never forget that a child's immediate environment, one's family is what teaches a child to be a particular way. If the family environment is such that fosters genuine care, which is free of squabbles and conflict among family members, children tend to internalise those values irrespective of what goes arouund them. Well if on one hand we want children to genuinely care for others but at the same time send our parents to oldage homes, we can very well image what kind of values such a child will inherit.

    A child's mind is a blank slate. To act as a chalk and etch the values of care and empathy depends completely on the family.

     

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