Empathy Is Important


Monday’s Parenting Thought
Empathy leads to a child having higher self-esteem, being more respectful of others, and treating others more fairly. Bullies do not have much empathy. Therefore, a child who develops empathy will less likely use bullying behavior.
How can children develop empathy? One way is to practice being a caregiver. Children don’t get much practice being “caregivers” in today’s world. We aren’t as quick as in days gone by to give kids responsibility for younger brothers and sisters. And, boys especially don’t get much chance to be caregivers because too often adults do not encourage them to play with toys like dolls, cooking, housekeeping tools, etc.
However, taking care of pets is another way that kids can be caretakers. You can help them develop empathy by asking them what they think the pet needs, the pet wants, and would make the pet feel good.
You can also point out that these same things are important for people. People also need someone to know what they need and want to make them feel better.
Inspired by PICK A PUP by Marsha Wilson Chall
More about empathy at 1) Kids and Pets: The Basics — 2) Kids and Pets: More about Responsibility, Love, Independence, and Loss — 3)  Bullying.