Which mother doesn’t want her children to be smart and at the same time have high empathy. Empathy is not only important for your little one’s life later, especially when he is socializing. You could even say that empathy is a crucial thing in society1. Try to imagine, without empathy, your little one may not have concern for fellow humans, animals, and the environment. How to grow children’s empathy cannot be instant but must be accustomed in everyday life from an early age.
How to Cultivate Children’s Empathy?
Every child is born with a different capacity for empathy, but research shows that empathy can be cultivated1,2. Growing empathy in children cannot be forced, yes, moms. Children must feel safe and comfortable with themselves before they can empathize with others. So of course, Mom and Dad must apply good parenting and show empathy in everyday life. How to cultivate a sense of empathy in children can be grown through games, you know. Choose the type of simple game that is easy for children 1-3 years and can be done at home. Come on, let’s look at the choice of games that aim to foster empathy in children.
Draw Facial Expressions in the Form of Emoticons
This activity can be done together with younger siblings, brothers, or cousins of the same age. When finished, Mother and Little One can show each other the emoticons they made. Then, tell a story, it can be from everyday life or a fairy tale book, then ask the children to choose the appropriate emoticon 3.
For example, you can tell about a child who cannot go to school because he has to help his parents earn a living. . If your little one shows the right emoticon, he can stick the emoticon on the wall of his room. The story that you tell will arouse the child’s sense of empathy, and make them try to understand the feelings of others through facial expressions3.
Guess the Garbage Game
Teaching your little ones to sort out waste from an early age will train their empathy towards nature and the environment. First, prepare some trash cans. You can, you know, invite your little one to make it yourself. For example, using used cardboard covered with an old calendar, then drawing a picture on the side of the cardboard to indicate the type of waste: piles of paper, plastic, plastic bottles, and batteries3. In addition, also provide a plastic trash can with a filter to remove kitchen waste, such as fruit peels or eggshells. To make the function clearer, draw a picture of vegetables and fruit in the trash can. Explain to the children the function of each of the trash cans.
Next, prepare various types of waste in a large cardboard box. Line up the five trash cans, then invite your little one to guess the trash. For example, the mother takes the orange peel, asks the little one to mention the type of waste, and asks to put it in the appropriate trash can. After your little one understands, teach him to always dispose of the trash in its proper place.
Draw with Closed Eyes
Games are one way to grow children’s empathy for other people who have physical limitations, for example, cannot see. The game can also be modified to represent other physical limitations. For example, guessing what other people say with their ears closed, to understand how it feels to not be able to hear.
Play Making Choices
Mother can use picture cards, then show two cards with the same picture theme, for example, pictures of mangoes and grapes. For your little one, choosing between mango or grapes may be difficult because they are his favorite fruits. However, in other parts of the world, there are people who are forced to choose between food or water in order to survive4.
Introduce to Traditional Games
After the pandemic is over and the kids can play outside with friends again, let them play. There are so many traditional games that can foster empathy in children. A study in Tasikma