Five Tips for Teaching Kids Empathy

It’s hard to feel like you’re winning as a mom; mom guilt is constant, toddlers throw tantrums, life is hard.

Our current historical moment shows that we need empathy now more than ever. We all understand the importance of empathy in child development, but the fact remains: teaching kids empathy is hard!

According to early learning experts, “In the early years of life, young children are naturally ego-centric and are very much inclined to think mostly about themselves and their immediate needs.

Young children need to be guided as they learn to think about the needs and perspectives of others, i.e. you’ve got to teach your kid to think about others before himself.

This is where parents, teachers, and anyone who spends time with young children come in. And we would be remiss if we didn’t say that this process is HARD, y’all.

Teaching your child to value the feelings and needs of others is not an easy task. After all, they were born only thinking of their own most primal needs: eating, pooping, and sleeping.

We cannot overemphasize the importance of your example in helping your child learn empathy.

Teaching Kids Empathy: Five Tips

1. Show emotion

When you have the opportunity to show empathy, include your children in the process.

2. Lead by example (modeling)

Children are, by nature, incredibly curious, so when someone or something is different than what they know, they often call it out.

3. Encourage tolerance and acceptance

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When you incorporate empathy into your daily life or use fun games, it will begin to come naturally for all of you.

Indoor Scavenger Hunts for Young Kids 

(Printable cards that can be rearranged to create tons of different hunts, divided by ages from 2-7 years old)

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