Counselor’s Corner: Teaching Kids Empathy, Antidote to Bullying

When I work with kids who are involved in bullying behavior, I start with empathy.

Some kids seem to be born with an ability to feel for others while other kids need coaching. Just as they need to be taught words to identify their own feelings, so do they need instruction on why we need to be aware of another person’s feelings and how to take another’s perspective— to “walk in his or her shoes.”

Only then will they be able to comprehend how and why it is important to show compassion.

As parents, we need to start this coaching in the earliest years. We teach empathy and compassion skills when we respond to misbehavior with sadness rather than anger…

It is our job as caring, responsible parents to be constant teachers and role models when it comes to fostering empathy and positive social behavior.