3 ACTIONABLE ACTIVITIES help parenthood develops empathy in children
How empathy is developed in teenagers is important for later social development in adults – greater empathy in teenage time is linked to later popularity, friendship quality and social competence.
So that any of parent’s mistakes will lead to a bigger problem. The question is how can we recognize and do it better?
There is a new study helps us understand the role that mothers and fathers play in this process.
The experimenters observed 156 British teenagers with their mother or father responding to a toddler starting to cry in the same room.
The researchers found that the more the parent talked to the teenager about the crying, the more attention he/she gave to the baby.
When parents talked more, the teenager was more likely to describe the emotion they saw in the baby – being “sad”. They found slight differences in how mothers and fathers talked to their boys or girls.
The similarity of empathy responses between boys and girls and between mothers and fathers was striking.
Only one small difference was observed between boys and girls—girls offered a verbal description of the emotion of the crying baby (e.g., “sad”) more often than boys did. And two very small gender differences were observed among the four possible combinations of boy/girl, mother/father:
- boys expressed more distress in the presence of their mother than their father
- and girls demonstrated more empathic concern in the presence of their father than their mother.
As the results of the experiments, here are ways you can build the skill of empathy within your child’s life:
#1 Provide opportunities for practice
If you or your child sees someone in need, look for ways to help. This can be as simple as opening a door for someone with a bag of groceries. By making it part of everyday life, children begin to integrate it into their definition of what it means to be an adult.
#2 Make faces
Research has shown when we change our facial expression, we change our emotional experience.
When talking with a child about how sad someone appears to be, have her make a sad face. Children (and adults) can “boost” their empathetic experiences by imitating the facial expressions of the individual they are attempting to empathize with.
#3 Discover commonalities
Children are more likely to feel empathy for individuals who are familiar or similar to them.
Spend time helping your child identify things he has in common with those who are in distress or need. It will require consciousness and correct way to support, that parents should take better care of it.
By consistently practicing empathy within your home, you will find your child’s skill improving to the point where they begin initiating empathy activities without prompting. Look for these times and celebrate them. Experiences like these will tell you that you are on the right path!
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