Empathy! Feelings! The explanation of feelings helps to teach empathy and instill kindness in children. Kids can be mean! And the best way to teach them kindness is to help them see how others feel.
A little girl who comes to school wearing pretty and expensive clothes makes an unkind remark to a little girl who doesn’t wear that type of clothes. Why? Because her parents can’t afford them or she doesn’t feel comfortable in them.
Sympathy and empathy are not the same thing. Children can be sympathetic when they view a situation through their own eyes and or experiences.
In contrast, empathy requires that a person has the ability to “step outside” of himself or herself. That person must enter the “internal” world of another person. When this happens, a person can experience the other’s emotions from that person’s vantage point.
Sometimes situations, events or people can jump start a child’s ability to empathize. When children’s hearts are touched, often they automatically react with empathy. When empathy comes into play, a child’s attachment to himself or herself takes a “back seat” to trying to help. The following video tells it all.
When The Best Of Us Steps Up, Our Nation Stands A Little Taller…Share this…Credit to: Canadian Tire
Posted by Most Viral Web on Friday, February 17, 2017
In the picture above, the two children that Rugby is speaking to must be guided into a state of empathy if they don’t arrive at that state naturally. Maybe the little girl in the dress has been told that how someone dresses reflects her value. Maybe she has been taught that she is pretty too often and she begins to equate what she has and how she dresses with who she is. As young as she is, she may have become vain and self important.
Hence, an approach might be to ask her how she would feel if her parents could no longer purchase expensive clothes for her. What if she had to go to school in clothes like the other girl is wearing? How would she react if kids made fun of her and her clothes? Would she feel better if someone tried to understand how she is feeling and say or do things that might help her feel better?
Finally, a parent or teacher… or dog friend might tell a child how proud he or she will be if this child shows kindness and acceptance of the little girl who is so sad. Honest praise goes a long way!
Self-Esteem matters! If this were your child or a child you care about, how would you handle things with him? Well, I don’t have kids but I sure know about them and I know how kids like this often become targets of bullying.
If you ask yourself what do you want for him or her? Be realistic okay? If your kid is short, he won’t usually become tall overnight. If he wears glasses or needs some other type of assistance, that isn’t likely to change. There isn’t any point in telling a kid that he or she is perfect because they know differently. What’s important is to do things that help a child believe in himself or herself. Their self-esteem matters and kids need to understand that the way they think about themselves is the same way that others think about them.
If you look at the picture above, you see a kid who is facing two potential bullies. Instead of the boy showing them a fearful and easily bullied kid, he is facing them and saying “Hi.” Why? Because he has a realistic knowledge of who he is and what he is about. He may not be the most popular or the most athletic or the best looking but he is who he is! He likes himself and others see that. When kids like themselves the world sees them differently!
Spend some time where parents and kids gather. You’ll hear all kinds of comments from parents like, “You were wonderful. You did the best. No one else did as well as you did.” That seems like a good thing… right?
New studies are showing that exaggerated or overstated praise can back fire especially with children with low self-esteem. What the studies found was that kids with low self-esteem were more likely to choose easier tasks after they received inflated statements of praise. Often they will be afraid of failure because so much is expected of them. The opposite is true when parents say things like, “You worked hard.”
…Researchers often refer to this constructive encouragement as process praise. Letting the child know exactly what they are doing well and noticing the detail of their work is critical. Trading ambiguous praise for detail-oriented questions lets the child know that their work is interest-worthy. When children are explicitly told what they are doing right (e.g. “good job at cleaning up the blocks”), it’s more effective in changing future behaviors and promoting improved effort. *
Maybe it’s time to think about how you praise your child!