Helping Your Child Develop Empathy
Empathy is the ability to imagine how someone else is feeling in a particular situation and respond with care. This is a very complex skill for young children (and even adults!) to develop. Being able to empathize with another person means that a child:
- Understands that they are a separate individual with separate feelings and emotions
- Understands that others can have different thoughts and feelings than they do
- Recognizes the common feelings that most people experience—happiness, surprise, anger, disappointment, sadness, etc.
- Is able to look at a particular situation and imagine how another person might feel in that moment
- Can imagine what response might be appropriate or comforting in that particular situation