(Teaching Empathy) Why Parents Need to Actually Teach Empathy

Children who develop empathy are much less likely to exhibit behavior problems. Take a proactive approach to teaching empathy in your home.

Parenting Strategies that Teach Empathy

Children don’t pick up on empathy skills all on their own. Instead, it’s important to take a proactive approach to helping them learn how to empathize. Here are several strategies that teach empathy:


1. Show your child empathy. If your child is upset, avoid saying things like, “There’s no need to cry,” or “Stop being a baby.” Acknowledge that all feelings are okay while also pointing out the importance of managing her behavior despite those feelings. A child who feels like others have empathy for her will be more able to show empathy for others.


2. Teach your child about feelings. Children need to develop the ability to verbalize and understanding their feelings. Start teaching your child simple feeling words early and make emotions a frequent topic of conversation as your child grows. Continue teaching more complex feelings as your child’s ability to understand emotions increases.


3. Create opportunities to talk about other people’s


4. Role model altruism…

5. Teach self-discipline skills..

6. Talk about global needs…


By Amy Morin, LCSW