Empathy and social development in childhood

Empathy is a skill; a skill we, the parents, need to teach and nurture. To empathise with someone is to understand what they are feeling and to understand what you would feel like if you were in their situation. It requires a comprehension that others think of themselves in ways that are similar to and different from the way you do, and the emotions the other person associate with those thoughts.


Children who are empathic tend to do better in school, in social situations, and in future adult careers.

Children and teenagers who have the greatest amount of skill at empathy are viewed as leaders by their peers, so we must not underestimate the importance of teaching this at home.


Jennifer Ryan