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**This post is part of a series I've been doing on empathy.  For other posts on how to show empathy and teach your children empathy, click here.**

 In the book Brain Rules for Baby, John Medina tells us that empathy is the key to good relationships, and good relationships are the key to a happy life.
empathy for kids
     This idea makes a lot of sense to me.  An empathetic child or adult can understand another person’s feelings, and possibly adjust their behavior or interactions with that person based on those feelings.  They may also be able to anticipate the way their words or actions will make others feel, and act accordingly.
    More empathy leads to better marriages, friendships, and professional relationships.  It might mean fewer tantrums and fighting in toddlers and preschoolers, and less bullying among older students.
What do you think?  Is empathy as important as Medina seems to think?
And if so, how can we show empathy to others more, and teach our children to be empathetic?
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Would you like to comment?

  1. I do think empathy is an important thing for children to have. (Adults too, but I can't help most of them!) I really feel like the best way for us to teach empathy to our children is to demonstrate it ourselves. I have two who are very empathetic to others and who is not at all. It can create some social problems when a child is not empathetic, so it's something we're working on with D. I hope you are well!

  2. I always try to stop which ever girl is creating hard feelings, and ask her the question, "How would you feel if your sister did that to you?" I don't think 6 & 8 year olds consider the feelings of others 100% of the time, but I am hoping our girls are doing it more times than not. The ability to understand the impact of your actions on another person or an animal or a building MUST be taught to our children. Empathy and morality go hand in hand, and without them, we would live in a very cruel, lawless world.

    Ok, I'm off my soapbox now! ;-) LOVE your topic!

  3. Empathy is important, but I've also read that a child is unable to feel empathy until 4-6 years old. Their brain just isn't developed enough. I don't know if it's true or not, but as long as it's not your only method of discipline I don't see a problem with using it early. I do have to remind my 6yo a lot to think about other people's feelings, it definitely doesn't come naturally yet.

  4. I do think empathy is important! I think it should be something we work with our children on, to help mold them into solid grown ups. :) Thanks for sharing!!