7 do’s and don’ts to help your family build empathy skills

by S. Michele Fry

Empathy is at the root of what it means to be human, experts say, and it’s at the core of all good relationships — personal and professional. Some children may naturally have more of it than others. But not to worry, empathy — the ability to understand and share the feelings of another — is something that experts say can be enhanced, learned, and practiced.

Try these suggestions to strengthen your child’s empathic muscles and avoid habits that destroy an empathic mindset.

1. Model caring for others
2. Model good listening skills
3. Be forgiving
4. Challenge prejudices and stereotypes
5. Help them learn to recognize, express, and manage their feelings
6. Encourage responsibility
7. Immerse them in literature and art