7 Tips for Teaching Empathy in Toddlers

Toddlers think they’re the center of the universe, and although we can’t blame them — it’s totally normal and probably evolutionarily sound — it’s still natural to want them to show a gentler, kinder version of themselves every once in a while. Even if your little ones are veritable hug machines, they probably still need some help in the empathy department now and then. But how do you get a toddler to think about someone other than himself?

Here are seven tips for teaching empathy.

1. Acknowledge that they’re capable of it. ‘

2. Talk about emotions.

3. Actively encourage empathy.

4. Shift the focus to others.

5. Act it out

6. Reward instead of punish.

7. Empathize with your child