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Empathy: Raising A Caring Child

Updated on December 16, 2012
Empathy is a character trait that leads to positive social experiences.
Empathy is a character trait that leads to positive social experiences. | Source

The lack of empathy in children leads to poor social experiences at school, home and play. If the child is not taught to have compassion for others she may not be able to distinguish between her feelings and the feelings of others. Also, she may not have the ability to regulate or control emotional responses to certain situations. Often, it leads to bullying.

Children who are taught empathy early on will adapt readily to situations requiring a positive emotional response. For instance, a playmate is crying because your child has taken a toy from his hand. Your child may hand the toy back to him, or walk away with it and begin to play in another area. How do you teach your child to handle these situations with compassion and self awareness of her feelings and that of her playmate? Using empathy will help your child to understand how her playmate feels, she will react with compassion and most likely give the toy back to her friend.

Teaching Body Language Signals

Merriam Webster's Word Central defines empathy as: being aware of and sharing another person's feelings, experiences, and emotions.

The ability to read nonverbal clues in communication is key in learning how to respond to people. As adults we practice this skill almost every day when we interact with others. We see someone frowning and perceive that they must have some kind of problem. We can adjust how we approach this person based upon this nonverbal clue.

Children can be taught to read body language through the use of books, games and role playing. As they learn the different signals people can send out, they build an understanding of how someone feels and this can help them to react accordingly.

How would you describe these feelings to your child?


Emotion
Using Verbal Language
Using Facial Expression
Hunger
?
?
Grief
?
?
Surprise
?
?
Grumpy
?
?
Joy
?
?
Create Empathy Cards to teach body language and emotions.
Create Empathy Cards to teach body language and emotions. | Source

A Simple Empathy Lesson

Using Games to Teach Empathy

Feelings are not the easiest thing to explain to children. As you may have noticed from the table above, some of these words are not easily described with verbal language, but may be a bit easier using body language. There are several ways to teach empathy to children using body language and facial expressions. Some options are:

  • Charades
  • Matching flashcard expressions
  • Making faces in a mirror
  • Role playing emotional feelings or faces

All of these are fun ways to teach compassion for others. Adjacent to this content are pictures of children expressing emotion. You can use pictures such as these to play a game of "Detective" with preschoolers.

Place the cards face down on a table and have your child pull the top card from the pile. Using a magnifying glass (special detective spy glass), ask him to detect what emotion is displayed? Prompt him to use his special detective glass and skills in reading the eyes, lips, hands, mouth, etc. to discover the emotion. Keep in mind there can be more than one answer depending on the facial expression (i.e., joy or surprise). Add to the fun by creating and giving him the official Detective Badge of Honor if he gets most of them correct. The main objective is to help him read facial expressions, and it is all right to help him out with small clues as you play. After all, you are the Assistant Detective!

If your child is younger, say a toddler or two year old, the the use of toys such as puppets or dolls will help your child to understand the feelings of others as you play together. For example, have your child rock or cuddle a doll and talk with her about how the doll might feel. Here's a sample conversation:

  • Adult: Oh, baby is crying!
  • Child: Baby is crying?
  • Adult, Yes, see her tears. That means she is not happy.
  • Child: Baby not happy!
  • Adult: How can we make her feel better?
  • Child: ??? (She may just look at the doll or look at your face for a clue.)
  • Adult: Can you rock her? I think that would make her feel better. Oh, that is such a good thing for baby! (Use lots of emotion in talking to your child)

By describing the emotion to your child, she will understand the feeling and how to react through your positive coaching.

Empathy in Every Day life

The best way to teach empathy is to role model the behavior. As you listen to a sad story you can express your feelings about the situation. If you view a movie or TV show that depicts a personal tragedy you can discuss with your child how that person must feel.

Older children get a better picture of empathy if you use the "Golden Rule" approach. For example, siblings often get into tiffs about different things such as personal space, toys or chores. And, someone always gets hurt. Asking them how they would feel if it were them in the other person's situation makes it more real; "How would you feel if you were the one who was treated like this?" A phrase like this usually makes the offender feel guilty and leads to a sincere apology.

As you work with your child to develop empathy, you will see a her or him express positive support to other children in distress. Empathy leads to healthy, well-balanced relationships and a responsible caring attitude towards others.

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    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @teaches, what an important hub! A must read for any parent. You are certainly educating the community here, your hubs are very useful.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Very thoughful. Yes bullying is due to lack of empathy. It must begin at home. School is home away from home. The ways you have put across to teach children are excellent. I loved the sesame street. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Your comments are always so encouraging to me. I appreciate your support as I continue to build my writing skills. Glad that the articles are helping othrs. Take care.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Vellur, empathy does begin at home. You are so right, bullying is a result of children not having empathy for others. Perhaps this should be a subject taught in schools; I think it would help stop bullying. Thanks for the votes of support. Your visits make me smile!

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      This is a great article, as I think empathy is so important in life. We should all be aware of how our actions might effect others. I try to teach my kids to feel empathy, I hope it's working. Voted up and useful.

    • alissaroberts profile image

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Another fantastic hub about an important subject! The "Golden Rule" is used often in this house with our two boys. I can only hope that my oldest is still following this rule while he is at school. Love that video too - perfect addition to this hub! Voted up!

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 5 years ago

      Yes I was nodding in agreement as I read this. You have such good ways of teaching empathy! Thank you, I learn a lot from you!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Some of us are born filled with the ability to feel empathy, other are not. I have seen this in my own life. You have given some great tips for parents to use here. I have a blog about raising children. May I link to this Hub?

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      Since children tend to grow up by watching their parent's actions, I certainly agree with being a good role model. Empathy needs to be learned when children are young and I think you covered this topic very well. Up and awesome.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 5 years ago

      Empathy! I have to agree with every word you say here...being a good role model, I believe is the only way to teach empathy. Emotions cannot be taught but children pick up your every emotion. Well written, voting it up and pushing the buttons here. Have a lovely day.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 5 years ago from United States

      I enjoyed your hub very much and as a former teacher for many years, I can identify and support your message.Thanks again.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      So full of truth teaches;a brilliant hub and here's to so many more gems like this from you one for us all to read. Thank you for sharing my friend

      Take care and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bravo my friend...compassion, empathy and love! The holy trinity of humanness. Loved this hub and I greatly admire the person who wrote it.

      your friend,

      bill

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Kuddos to you, dmop, for teaching your kids great life skills that will not only help them but many others they know. I appeciate your positive support and visit. Be well and safe.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      It is always a wonderful feeling when your older children leave the home and can remember the good values mom taught them. I am sure he does. Thanks for your support and visit, I do value your opinions!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hello Charlotte! Your comment means much to me. Thank you for stoppping to read the hub. I am glad that it is helping others to grasp some important life skills.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hyphenbird, you are so right, empathy is not always present in some people's lives. I have had to teach this to many young children as well as older adults (yes, it is true!). I believe it is why we are seeing the increase of bullying in our schools. Please by all means, share this with others. I hope it will help parents in raising their children to be real leaders in their community. Thank you so much for your insight to this article. I value your support!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Pamela, the earlier we can teach life skills -- the better the child will adjust socially. Parents are a child's best role model in life, abd it does put pressure on us -- but it is well worth it to see a child's success later. Thank you for the visit and supportive votes.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      If parents can role model empathy to kids, it will help them when they face distress among their peers. Sofs, thank you for coming for a visit and for your positive votes of support. Take care.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Whonu, when a fellow teacher agrees with your teachng, it is so validating! Thank you for your positive support and message. Aim well in life and high!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Eddy, you make my day! Thank you for the encouragement brought to this hub writing. The article's message is one that I believe can help today's parents to raise caring children who will make a difference in our world. Be well and safe.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Your validation means much to me, billybuc. As a teacher, you know how important it is to instill these virtues in young children. It not only helps them but others in life. Thank you for stopping in and for your continued support. Blessings!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      This is a very important piece of writing. I hope that it reaches so many parents because a lack of empathy in the child produces a very scary adult.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Excellent examination of empathy, teaches, and the Mark Ruffalo video with Elmo (I think that was Elmo) drives home your message. I definitely felt empathy for Mark when he was trying so hard not to laugh at Elmo's reaction to his serious explanation. Funny but wortwhile video selection.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I love your humorous factual statement -- it can produce a scary adult! Thank you for your visit and support, breakfastpop. Always a pleasure to see you.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Yes, the muppet gang made some good clips on word definitions for children. I think the muppet was similar to Elmo in character, always a likeable character. Anyways, it did a good job of defining empathy with emotional content.. Mark made it so funny. Thanks coming in for a visit. Take care.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow you ought to give lectures on this.. this is wonderful hub... I feel the same way if we only teach our children these points of Empathy.. they would grow up to be better adults.. and not bullies while they are young.. great hub

      voted up

      Debbie

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thank you, Deborah, for your encouraging comments. I would love to see this subject taken to schools and taught as a preventative measure against bullying. There are many in our present society who have little empathy for others and they resort to making selfish decisions. I appreciate your support and vote. Have a great weekend.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      What a great and important hub. Empathy is such an important quality for both adults and children. I appreciate all the techniques and approaches you shared that we can use with our children and grandchildren. Great article. Thank you for SHARING this with us.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thank you, Phdast7, for stopping in for a visit. I appreciate your positive support and comment. This is a top concern across the nation today with all the bullying that is affecting our children. Have a great weekend!

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      A very well thought off hub! Great on the details, information and techniques! I don't have any kids right now but when I do.. I an sure.. this hub wil strike my mind :)

      Great hub

      Rahul

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hello Rahul0324! It is good to see you on this hub. I appreciate you visit and support. I am glad you found the article interesting and worth keeping in mind. Enjoy your weekend, my friend.

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 5 years ago from The Shire

      Teaches, I'm constantly amazed at how little empathy some people have for others, and I mean adults. I'm sure they probably weren't taught empathy as children. Thank you for this useful and much-needed information!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Molly, I too am amazed with the lack of empathy from some adults. I am sure their mamas must have taught them to treat others with kindness at some point. I thank you for your visit and postive support of the article. Take care.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an excellent hub, teaches. I love your ideas and suggestions regarding childhood education. I appreciate the fact that in your hubs you not only describe how to help children develop important life skills theoretically but also describe practical steps that parents and teachers can take. Great work!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I appreciate your positive reflection of this hub, Alicia. It is good to hear feedback that helps to gauge writing styles. Thank you. Enjoy your weekend.

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      This is absolutely beautiful. Great subject, that is not often addressed. This is truly a classic. Voted up and all!

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi teaches12345!

      You are right - not many children have been taught to feel empathy. Maybe it is because many parents have grown numb to certain things and they have begun to not express their feelings as much maybe because they are neither hot no cold about the subject? Just speculating. I see so many kids who really have no clue how to be thoughtful about anything except themselves and they really do not even have an idea about it.

      Your hub is needed and I hope that many parents read it so that the coming generation will have people who care about others.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Skarlet, I appreciate your coming in for a visit and your votes of support. Thank you for the positive reflection of the hub. Be well and safe.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      North Wind, I agree with you. Parents have become so busy with work and staying ahead that the raising of children now lacks the teaching of values. As a reslt, these children lack empathy and socially are a cause of concern. Your words are a validation to my thoughts for writing the hub and it is good to know that others agree with the message. Thank you for your support. Have a great evening.

    • formosangirl profile image

      formosangirl 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Great article. I understand that empathy has to be taught, or in a family, there is enough demonstration of empathy that the children have the ability to pick it up. Fortunately, my kids have learned empathy. According to one of my son's teachers, he was the only one who stayed behind during recess to keep the company of a child in wheelchair who came to school mid-year. When the teacher told us this at parent-teacher conference, we all had tears in our eyes. Voted Up and Shared.

    • pipmistress profile image

      pipmistress 5 years ago from Qatar

      Voted up and shared! this is a great article! my parents taught me this but i dont know if i am overly taught because, when my friend cry, i literally cried with her.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      AAwww, that is so sweet! What a beautiful child, you have certainly done a GREAT job in teaching empathy. This is what we want to see demonstrated by our children in social settings. Thanks, formosangirl, for the beautiful addition to the hub topic. I so enjoy your visits and deeply appreciate your support. Blessings!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Pipmistress, thank you for visiting the hub, I always enjoy your comments and visits. I love that you display so much empathy with others, your parents taught you well. You are truly a beautiful person to many. Thank you for sharing and the supportive vote. Be blessed today!

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      What a great topic and so important for all children. I have attended social classes for children with autism spectrum disorders - Aspergers and PDD-NOS, and I think some of your suggestions would be very helpful for these families. Children with anxiety disorders sometimes have trouble expressing their feelings appropriately, so your games and lessons would help there too. Thanks for sharing!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hi Chaplin! Thank you for the positive feedback and added insight to the topic. I agree that teaching empathy to all children, regardless of disorders, is a necessary lesson in teaching values. These values make social interaction much more pleasant for everyone. Thanks for stopping in, I value your opinions!

    • slackermom profile image

      Lisa Palmer 5 years ago from Attapulgus GA

      Great information. I think this is a very important topic because it seems many parents are so busy trying to make their kids overachievers and concentrating so much on self fulfillment that they forget that children need to feel empathy towards others to be truly fulfilled. voted up

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Great observation, Slackermom! So true, parents are great at pumping up their child's self worth that they forget to balance it with empathy for others along the way. Thank you for taking time to come in for a visit, I appreciate your support and vote. Also, thanks for the follow. Be blessed in your day's journey.

    • twentyfive profile image

      twentyfive 5 years ago

      You know all the best things about children. It's always great to read your hubs because I always learn a lot. All mothers and parents must read your beautiful hubs. Excellent! :)

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Twentyfive, you have made my day! It is good feedback to know that your hubs are of interest and helping others. I appreciate your support, comments and encouragement. Be blessed today!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      What a lot of great resources and a cute video! Voted up, awesome and shared! :)

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hi Suzanne! I am so glad to see you here. Thanks for visiting and your votes of support. I am glad you enjoyed the read, the video is cute. You take care out there.

    • Anjili profile image

      Anjili 5 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

      You are a very good teacher. Empathy towards growing children has been demystified. I have one child who needs a lot of this. Your approach will go a long way towards moulding her. Voted up and awesome.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hello Anjili! I am so glad to hear that the hub is helping others in working with children. It is a virtue that some of us are lacking and it does affect our social interaction with others. You are a wise person in wanting to make a change. Thanks for your visit and insight. BE well and safe.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Congratulations on this wonderful hub. Empathy is such a vital part of our upbringing. As a middle school teacher I am often dismayed by the attitudes of some of my students but there are many times I am left impressed and in awe of their empathy. You have provided us with a wonderful lesson and have encouraged many to be aware - voted up!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      MIss Olive, it is so nice to see children express concern over another child's distress. It really makes you day better. The lack of empathy in some children is concerning, but I imagine teachers such as youself will make the difference in their lives. Thanks for coming in to read the hub, contribution to the article and for your positive support.

    • profile image

      susanm23b 5 years ago

      Wow! This is a fantastic hub! I wish this could be shouted from the rooftops! Teaching empathy to my children has always been a very important subject for me. I think that is because I have known quite a few people without it. If only children were the only ones who needed to learn empathy...

      It would be a better world if more people considered the feelings of others before they spoke or acted (followed the Golden Rule). Voted up! Shared!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Susan, thank you so much for coming into read the hub. I love your enthusiasm over the topic. I believe if the simple truth of the Golden Rule were taught from early on in life (especially in schools) it would make a difference in today's society. I appreciate your added interest to the topic and your supportive votes. Have a great weekend.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      What a valuable hub! I often feel like empathy is not taught enough at home. Then when kids get to school, they can say the meanest things to each other or even DO the meanest things. However, just when I think that there's hardly any empathy left, a child will come up to me and say something that just makes my heart melt. Oh we humans truly need to model compassion and love for each other. Then, perhaps we can truly create a more peaceful world. Voted up and across.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thank you, CClitgirl for stopping in today. I wholeheartedly agree with your views on empathy in today's world. It is a virtue that would help solve many social interaction problems we experience. If we keep living it perhaps others will catch on. Thanks for the votes of support. Take care, be safe and keep up the positive spirit!

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 5 years ago from Michigan

      Great topic teaches. I like your suggestions for helping children to empathize with those around them. I'm wondering if these suggestions would work for an adult. I know someone who has no clue when it comes to body language. It's kind of funny, but sad at the same time. As I think about this person's upbringing I wonder if the mothers methods of parenting: having the whole world revolve around him, kept him from thinking about others.

      Most children pick up empathy from their parents without having to really play games etc. to learn it. BUT, these suggestions would work wonderfully with a child who is prone to be in his own little world or one that has not been taught to care how others feel.

      If you help just one child with this hub, it would change their world. Voted Up and Awesome!

      Mekenzie

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Most children do learn empathy from observing parents, providing they role model it for them. I have found some children do not have parents to role model for them, or as you mentioned, they create an environment that centers around "me", which creates a self-centered world.

      Adults could also benefit from a course on empathy and I do know of some workplaces that train their employees through workshops on this subject. Thanks for your added wisdom to the topic and for your votes of support. I always enjoy hearing from you.

    • KrystalD profile image

      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Wow! This is an awesome topic and you handled it masterfully :) Impressive and useful. I feel like every parent should read this. Voting up and useful.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I only hope that parents will find it useful in raising empathic children who will make a difference in this world. Thanks for visiting, for your wonderful support and votes. Be blessed in your journey today.

    • Bedbugabscond profile image

      Melody Trent 5 years ago from United States

      My son has Asperger's, he was not born with a brain that had secure neural connections in the areas of empathy and social skills. When I did math and letter flashcards with my other kids I would do emotion and feelings flashcards with him. He could read and do math by the time he was 5, but struggled with empathy. My youngest daughter is a feeling being and naturally empathetic, I try to support her in this and help her learn to cope with empathy. Having children at such opposite ends of the spectrum (not the autism one) really makes me appreciate your advice.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Bedbugabscond, it sounds like you are a very caring parent and that through your example both children will pick up on what empathy means. It may just take time to absorb and understand the concept. Thanks for coming in to visit. I appreciate your support of the article. Have a great evening.

    • Sturgeonl profile image

      Sturgeonl 5 years ago

      Empathy is such an important quality and you gave some wonderful advice for teaching it to children. Voted up and awesome!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Sturgeoni, I so appreciate your visit and comments on this topic. Empathy is such an important value for children to learn and easy to teach. Thanks for your supportive votes. Take care.

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      Such an Important hub! I really enjoy reading your Hubs! Thank you for sharing. YOu are right, we have to role model this behavior and also teach children how to read and understand nonverbal communication. Thank you for sharing!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by, KDuBarry, I appreciate your positive support and glad you find the hub interesting. WE are our child's first teacher and role modeling is essential in teaching traits such as empathy. Have a great day!

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      I like that you mentioned the Golden Rule. Kids sometimes need to appreciate other people's situations by actually imagining themselves to be in those situations. Sometimes also, kids' fear of feeling negative emotions would dissuade them from doing bad things to others.

      You have great pieces of advice here, as always!

      If I may add, I read somewhere that we should not force kids to apologize to others or say something nice to others. The author of that article I read suggested that we serve as role models for the kids to emulate by always apologizing when we need to and always taking note of people's positive behavior.

      Voting this hub up and useful!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Kerly, I am so glad to see you here, and appreciate your added insight to the topic. Role modeling is the best way to teach children. The Golden Rule does help you to imagine what the other person goes through. It works for all situations. Be blessed today.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 5 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      A must read for all parents, voted up

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hello girishpuri. Thank you for your response and visit. I appreciate your stopping in to read the hub. Enjoy your day.

    • thom w conroy profile image

      thom w conroy 5 years ago

      So true - very thought provoking. When you see a child that lacks empathy you can only wonder what the quality of their lives and those around them will be as an adult.

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      Ah, I agree with kerlynb. it is just like teaching a dog how to sit; you have to play a role form them to catch on and indirectly learn. What was the name of that article? I would love to read it! I definitely agree that role modeling sends a more powerful message.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Teaching young children empathy by helping them to read emotions expressed on facial expressions seems like a wonderful idea for preschoolers. You make a good point when you say that children who have empathy for others are less likely to be bullies. Very good hub, useful for teachers, parents and grandparents!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thom, sadly, it does reflect on a child's home life when they cannot demonstrate empathy towards others. Starting early in a child's life will ensure a better quality of life for him and those in his life. Thanks for the added insight and your visit. You are always a great welcome to any hub. Have a great day!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      KDuBarry, role modeling is the most impressive with children. Parents are the best example of life choices, hopefully the more positive ones! Glad you came by and very thankful your contribution to the hub interest. Take care.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Stephanie, we have too many children out there who do not know what empathy means and cannot relate to those distressful times that may need them to show caring concern. Preschoolers are most receptive to this trait and teachers would do a great service to students in helping them understand this trait in the classroom. Thanks for your added wisdom to the hub. I appreciate your visit and comment. You be well and safe out there.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      This is so worth the effort with children and what a great thing to write about. You've covered the subject in this hub and the evidence is all the comments you've generated. Looking forward to more of your work.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thank you, Kathleen, for your encouraging words. I appreciate and value your reflection of the hub content. Empathy is a trait that will help us all to make our social interactions positive. Have a great weekend and thanks for your follow and support.

    • Sonya L Morley profile image

      Sonya L Morley 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      As the mother of a toddler I think this is a very helpful hub about one of those areas which can feel like a bit of a minefield! Thanks for sharing it.

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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Sonya, it does feel like a minefield at times, it takes some navigating to get through it. Although, two year olds are so open to suggestions and they do pick up these traits early if led. Thanks for coming in and visiting. Have a great day.

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      snowdrops 5 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

      Interesting and very well written. Thumbs up!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Snowdrop, I am excited about your visit to the hub. I appreciate your comment here and glad you found it interesting. Have a great day!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This is one of my favorite topics as it does bring awareness to how we can create children of character. Thanks for your support, Snowdrops. Be well and safe in your journey today.

    • snowdrops profile image

      snowdrops 5 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

      I'm an empath..its hard but now Im learning to control these emotions..

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      It is hard to work on certain emotions. Be patient and it will come together soon. See you around the hubs. Have a sunny day!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Teaching kids about the meaning of empathy is important. Your ideas of how to go about it are good and the Sesame Street video was also good. Voted useful. Thanks! Tweeted.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I watch that movie and laugh every time. Empathy is one of the best things we can teach children. Thanks for sharing and visiting here, Peggy,

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Teaches-as usual, you are educating us so much here at Hubpages. This behavior trait is a must to teach our children. Not only do children with no empathy become bullies, they can turn into much worse in adulthood. Narcissist's, Sociopath's and Psychopath's, all lack empathy.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Yes, it's scary to think how the lack of empathy does cultivate those negative disorders in adults. Thanks for your visit, Minnetonka.

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      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      It never occurred to me to actually teach empathy to my daughter, but hopefully she has learned it through experience. I agree with you that we need to take the time to teach our children how to read body language and other clues for how another person feels and develop empathy. You've provided great ways to do that. Voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hello, Millionaire! I wish other parents would feel the way you do about teaching childern important life skills. Thanks for your add to the topic. Great having your a part of any hub conversation. Have a great weekend.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Empathy is an expression of identifying oneself with the problems of the sufferer so completely that he or she experiences similar feelings and states of mind, including a sense of sadness, personal loss or betrayal.

      Thanks for sharing importance of empathy in a child's life.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Vinaya, I am so glad to see you here. Your words are very encouraging and I appreciate your visit. Take care and be well.

    • leahlefler profile image

      leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

      This is fantastic. So many people are worried about teaching their preschoolers academic skills, but neglect the child's emotional education. I like the idea about using empathy cards - learning to recognize and label emotions is vital. We also use social stories and experience books (we write them with our children as the main characters and the plot centers around a behavior issue).

      For instance, we'll write a short story about taking toys away from other children, and it will say something like: "Matthew took Billy's toy away. Now Billy is very sad." Then we'll write in solutions to the problem (taking turns, waiting until Billy is done with the toy, etc.) and at the end of the book show that being kind results in happiness and friendship.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Leah, thanks for stopping by here. I like your social stories ideas, very good method of introducing emotions. I would love to see one of your books -- a hub perhaps? Enjoy your evening, friend.

    • leahlefler profile image

      leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

      I should put one together. They are typically done for deaf children, kids with visual impairments, or children with autism. They help with language development and the understanding of abstract concepts, which are harder for kids with these challenges to understand. We used experience books with Nolan on a daily basis for a while - it was very helpful.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I think it would be an interesting article to read. The world needs to hear how these beautiful children learn and function in society.

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      Amber Murphy 4 years ago from PA

      I think empathy is such an important thing for children to learn. There are so many people who lack empathy, and I believe that if there were more empathic people the world would be somewhat of a better place. I think this was a really good article and the game ideas are a great way to get children to learn without knowing they are learning.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thanks for your positive reflection of the hub and wise words about empathy. Today, more than ever, our world needs to learn this character trait and live it daily before others. Glad you liked the games, they are fun ways to learn this value. Take care and be safe.

    • english-zone profile image

      english-zone 4 years ago

      I have got marriage for couple month ago and today I have learned something new from this hub about the children. thanks a lot, it really means so much for me. and sorry if my English is not really good.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      English, congratulations on getting married! Wonderful! Glad you enjoyed the hub and found it useful. You enjoy your day and your husband.

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      Vickiw 4 years ago

      Empathy is so important. If it is taught from early childhood it prevents bullying, and so many other negative anti-social behaviours. A great topic, and thanks for writing it.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Vicki, empathy is the anti-bully remedy in our society. Great add to the topic. Thanks!

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      teaches God Bless you sister for another awesome hub. Thank you for taking your time to share such knowledge and wisdom. Yes our little ones will have a much happier life when they show empathy to others. Some little ones are so keen to empathy while other little ones are down right angry and mean. I agree it comes out of the gates at home. So many children now come from such divided families they pick up on other behaviors as well from an angry or upset parent or sibling. The roots go deep. It is called sin. Another topic. I love how you can stay on topic and not drift. I am a drifter but working on mastering the skill of staying on topic. You are such a gifted writer girl. I love reading your works.

      I love the flash cards and faces to define emotion. Great pointers and helps for all. In Christ Jesus all things are possible to those that believe! In Christ Love Ya sister, Skye

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Skye, thank you for stopping by here to share your thoughts on this topic. I agree that children today have a much heavier responsibility when it comes to making decisions due to lack of family support. Yes, our life styles, ethics, and the weak practice of our faith has resulted in the present day turmoils where children have taken to acting out violently. Empathy is a virtue and one that leads to peace. God bless you today, dear sister.

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      Koralee Phillips 3 years ago from Vernon British Columbia Canada

      Great information and tips! Empathy is so important in life.

      When my daughter was young, I took her to work with me sometimes to a group home I worked at in the inner city. The residents were dealing with mental health issues (90% schizophrenia), and others brain injuries.

      I wanted to teach her kindness, and that people are different. And although they're different they're still people, with diverse personalities.

      Plus I didn't want her to be afraid of people just because they're different.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Kora, I am so impressed at how you taught your child at a young age to learn empathy and care. She is very blessed to have such a mother. Take care and enjoy your week, dear lady.

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      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I learned empathy from my mother. Although, she had little empathy for me and my sister, I've never seen anyone with so much empathy for others. She would do anything, give anything for anyone.

      You are the goddess of empathy. Thank you for this exceptional article on this very important topic. I wish every parent and grandparent could read this.

      You are forever, my hero. May I walk in your path to righteousness and love. ~ Audrey

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Hello Audrey! Everyone should have a mother like yours who cares for others with true concern. The world would be a better place and there would be less bullying of children. Aww, thank you for your kinds words but I am only a representative of what God would have us all to say to help others. You are also a light to others with your writing. Blessings, dear sweet lady.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Diana.....Thank you for this outstanding hub, as all of your work surely is. You have presented such a very important topic. Our world keeps frightening me, as I see how wide the lack of empathy seems to be spreading.

      A MUST-read for all, most especially parents. The teacher in you is always shining through and your compassion makes it brighter. UP+++

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Fpherj48, if we could get everyone to teach this to their children it would make such a big difference with anger issues and bullying. Thank you for adding value to the conversation. Take care.

    • Bishop55 profile image

      Rebecca 3 years ago from USA

      I will be using these suggestions with our 7yr old. Thank you for sharing this. I believe empathy is VERY important!!

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      lovedoctor926 3 years ago

      Useful information. You raise good points. Empathy is definitely a very important skill. Feelings and emotions was something that neither one of my parents taught us. My mother has always been a very cold and aloof person. They did a good job raising both my brother and me as far as discipline, good morals & values, but my feeling were always invalidated, never asking or caring how I felt or feeling. Either they didn't know how to or simply didn't care. I had a very happy childhood, but throughout the yrs I have felt angry, but have come to accept it. What can I do? past is done & I need to stay happy and positive. I give my cares and worries to God. sorry about my ramble.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 3 years ago

      I think I might have a good story here.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      This is a very good example of how to raise a child who treats others well. It's never too young to start, as you pointed out in the example of toddler play. I'm pinning this.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 3 years ago from Finland

      This is an interesting and important hub. I really feel I need to work with emapthy with my son. He had some problems already a couple of years ago and he is now 7 years old. It isn't easy to raise children and I found this hub very useful. Thank you for writing it.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Fpherj, if we can get a child to understand empathy, the world will be a better place. I appreciate your kind words and support. Blessings!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Bishop, I am glad you found this useful. Thanks for visiting and hope your evening is wonderful.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Lovedoctor, I think you made a good point in moving forward, accepting the past and knowing it cannot be changed is key to healing. What we can do is to build our future in love and forgive those that have harmed us. God does help us to understand that we live in a cold world, knowing that we can change our view of things makes the difference. Glad you found some substance here to write a story. Can't wait to read it! Blessings.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Thanks Ologsinqito for your valued feedback on this topic. Yes, we must teach our children early on to know the value of empathy towards others. Be well and stay safe.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Made, parenting is always a challenge, but we can help our children to build valuable skills along the way, no matter how old they are. Glad you found this of use to you and your family. Blessings.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Really great work here; building empathy is so important. great hub.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      WiccanSage, thank you for your contribution to the topic.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      I love these ideas! Being a first grade teacher for seven years, I felt like it was my responsibility to teach many of these important lessons to 30 children and more every year. I loved every one of them but was wondering why many of them didn't have more skills than they had when they arrived in my classroom.

      Great article! Thanks!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      VVanNess, I admire your view of teaching. I know your students must have enjoyed your support and care. It is a puzzle how some children do not have basic social skills and character traits. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful afternoon.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      teaches12345, this is such a useful stuff toward development of nicer traits in kids that every responsible parent of growing kids should ponder the valuable content of this hub. This hub is another enlightening guide for shaping an ideal personality. Loved reading this great hub and voted up.

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      Tim Mitchell 3 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Good thoughts have been stirred with pondering empathy and its formation. Thank you for a well written and informative article easily understood.

      tim

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Harishprasad, it is one trait that really helps a child to make a positive change for everyone. Thank you for stopping by.

      Tsmog, I only wish everyone on earth had this character trait within. Take care!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      You are such a terrific teacher. Your lessons are not only beneficial to children but to adults too. I have excessive empathy, too much at times, but I have learned to adjust my settings. I think. Faith comes home from school with stories about her classmates family life, my heart melts when I hear the empathy in her voice. She moves on quickly, but she cares :))

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