It is normal when children are young that they are in the egocentric phase and that they feel that everything revolves around them, that there is nothing else besides them. This is especially noticeable when children play with others and perhaps fight over the same toy. But at the same time, children are capable of feeling great empathy for each other, and even more so if they are taught the right path.
We often associate the first years of life with statements that have to do with ‘mine’ or we associate it with tantrums because little ones don’t get what they want. But deep down, it is a budding recognition that others also have feelings. When children are between two and three years old, it is a good time to start working on empathy with them.
Adults should do what they can to help young children understand empathy as it is the foundation of all relationships. Best of all, there are plenty of ways to teach your young children empathy.
He Needs Words
Even the loudest toddlers might not have the right words to use. to be able to describe the emotions that come your way. Therefore, children need to know how to put names to emotions. For example, if a child hits another to get a toy, step in and ask things like, ‘Do you think she will be sad because you took her toy?’. This will help children reinforce their growing awareness of the feelings of others and will also increase their vocabulary.
Children love to be the center of attention, it makes them feel free. To take advantage of this, it is a good idea to take family (or other) photographs that you have and select different images where the different emotions are shown, such as calm, irritation, anger, happiness… Name each emotion and then talk about what caused it.
By For example, if it is an image where a person appears very happy for his birthday, you can tell your child that he The boy in the picture is very happy because everyone is singing happy birthday to him. The ideal is to do this exercise with photographs of the child himself because they love to have things explained to them about themselves and thus parents with these stories can make children more aware of how their actions can affect others.
Show him the way
Children need to see in you the best example of empathy towards others and towards themselves. Little ones see how you interact with other people and this is one of the most powerful ways your child can develop empathy. Take every opportunity you get to show sensitivity. For example, ask your partner how their day was, help an elderly person, help a child when he falls to the ground.
When you are showing empathy you will be teaching the child how to do it too. So, almost without realizing it, you’ll be modeling for your child to follow your example. Have you ever noticed how children when comforting another use the ‘child language’ using a high-pitched and monotonous tone? It is a modeling by seeing the adult use that tone with the children when it comforts them.
Allow him to practice
Your children must know that their desires will not always be able to reach them. For example, if it is time to eat but your child just wants to eat a bar of chocolate, he will obviously realize that this cannot be. The development of children’s awareness is done above all, giving them the opportunity to interact with many people. This way they can learn that people think and feel differently.