How to teach kids empathy

Empathy is a character trait that must be nurtured. Start teaching children when they are young and they will grow up being able to understand others who are struggling.

Discuss empathy in everyday situations

When you first begin to teach your young children about empathy, you will have to explain what it means. For example, if your toddler hits a playmate and takes his toy, discuss with her how she would feel if a friend did that to her. Point out people who are feeling sad and discuss why they might feel that way. Ask your children what they could do to help. If a family member is sick, encourage others to help him or her in little ways.

Making your children more aware of times they should be empathetic will help them learn to feel empathy on their own. Be open to the things and experiences they discuss with you.

They will have disagreements with friends and feel wronged. Help them see both sides of the situation and apply empathy.

By: Amy Peterson,