Being kind is not just saying thank you, please, excuse me, or sorry, but also being empathetic. Empathy is initiated by imagining their feelings in a given situation and responding with care. Having an attitude of empathy is important as a provision for children in interacting with other people. With empathy, children will realize that everyone can have different thoughts and feelings from themselves.
Although teaching empathy to children sounds abstract, it turns out that it can be done in a simple way and starts with us as parents. Check out 12 ways to teach empathy to children below.
Believing that Children Can Be Good
If you treat your child as if he or she has never been nice, it really will. Just like a prayer, right? Instead of being prejudiced against your child, try to build the assumption that he can help and care about others so that he will try to be nice. After all, your trust is your child’s guide to behaving wherever he is.
Be an Example of Positive Behavior
What you do and say is always seen by the child. So let your kids see you being kind, like tipping a courier who delivers food orders despite heavy rains, sharing food with neighbors, or making donations to victims of natural disasters.
Treat Children With Respect
It’s as simple as when you ask your child to finish playing time on the playground properly. No need to just end it or suddenly transport a child from the playground without permission
You can label feelings or name them. For example, help your child acknowledge how he or she is feeling, for example, you can use face cards that show different expressions or practice recognizing emotions in front of a mirror.
Teach Children How to Regulate Emotions
Teaching empathy to children means teaching them to regulate emotions as early as possible. For example, when TV viewing time is over and the TV is turned off, the child gets upset and cries. If this happens, you should not immediately turn on the TV again. Let the child vent his frustration first, then answer calmly, “I know you don’t like it, but watching time is over. Now, when you’re calmer, please accompany Mama to the shop, okay?”
Expressing Feelings to Share Emotions
Create a comfortable atmosphere at home so that your child can express what he is going through, whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing. When he is happy, be happy with him. When he’s upset, hug your child and ask him what’s bothering him. When he is sad, let him vent his emotions first until he is relieved. Then, give a hug and listen to his complaints.
Pay Attention to Other People’s Facial Expressions
Once you get used to seeing and experiencing various emotions, you can continue teaching your child about empathy by training him to pay attention to other people’s facial expressions. From what is seen, the child can imagine how that person feels in certain situations. After all, we can understand other people’s needs when we can imagine their perspective on things.
Don’t Ignore the Rude
because the child is still small, he must be taught to be kind. Because he doesn’t know what is good or bad, it’s our job as parents to remind our children constantly.
Understand Children’s Perceptions First
Sometimes when a child behaves in a certain way, it could be that the child doesn’t really understand how he should respond. For example, a child mocks his friend by calling the name of an animal. Instead of getting angry, try to respond calmly and ask why he said that. Then, fix the wrong understanding of the child by explaining the situation should be.
Pay attention to the use of social media
Children tend to imitate what they see on television, YouTube, or games. Monitor and accompany children while watching, and answer as much as possible any questions they ask regarding the show. Then, encourage them to compensate with other activities, such as playing outdoors with friends, reading books, or other interesting hobbies.
Patience and Consistency Are Key
Teaching empathy to children is a long learning process. You need to be patient with every question that comes from your child and doesn’t be tired of reminding your child to continue to improve his attitude for the better. Plus, you also have to be consistent in being your child’s first and foremost role model in empathy.
All these aspects become complete ammunition to grow a child who is willing to empathize and tolerate others.