Looking through our children’s eyes, and how they see things from where they stand, is one of the best things we can do as parents. Empathy helps us to understand why our children behave as they do. Are they tired, sick, hungry, fed-up?
Using empathy in our parenting doesn’t mean that our children are going to get everything they want, or that everything will go their way, but we can at least acknowledge what they are saying and how they are feeling.
When we show empathy to our children, they learn empathy. It’s usually a slow process for children to learn empathy. Children under the age of four years find empathy very difficult because they are egocentric (ie, the universe revolves around them). Children with disorders such as autism or ADHD also learn empathy quite slowly. Be patient and consistent in role modelling empathy, your child will get it one day.
In the following video, Dr Brene Brown describes what empathy is. I have shown this video to Grade 5 and 6 students…