This month our focus is on building Empathy. All the Umbrella Skills can be built with practice and this month we are working to build the empathy piece of your child’s umbrella of wellbeing
What will empathy do for my child? CREATE STRONG SOCIAL NETWORKS.
Empathy is the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and understand what they may be feeling. It is a key ingredient to successful relationships with our friends and family. High levels of
empathy result in lower levels of conflict, better problem-solving. It also helps us make new friends, keep the ones we have and build a stronger social network. Having a strong social network helps us live longer and is one of the best predictors of our health and happiness.
Help your child recognize and label their own feelings. Understanding what you are feeling in a given situation helps children learn to empathize. When we ignore or suppress feelings it’s difficult to understand them in others. At home, make sure your child understands that all of their feelings are okay, including sadness, anger, frustration and how to recognize those feelings. Help them give these feelings a label. Then set clear boundaries about what is and isn’t okay to do with the feelings. For example, it is normal to feel angry at a sibling but not okay to hit them as a result. This simple step helps children learn to calm themselves, cope better with life’s ups and downs and empathize with others