Why We Should Teach Empathy to Our Child?


June 27, 2022

Why We Should Teach Empathy to Our Child?

Many of us have heard or experienced bullying around us or met a person who doesn’t understand others’ feelings or emotions. Well, this article on empathy will guide you through its importance and how to introduce it to your kids.

What is empathy? What is the importance of fostering it for the child?

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It is an important social skill that children need to develop in order to cope with the emotions of others.

Many children need help to develop cooperation skills and a sense of social justice. Thus, empathy plays an important part in the learning process at an early age of development.

There are also many theories about what causes antisocial behavior in children. Some believe that it is a learned behavior, while others believe that it is a developmental disorder. Some think that learning can lead to antisocial behavior and children eventually learn how to behave in an anti-social manner by watching their parents or siblings show them how to do it. Some people think that it is a cultural phenomenon, and others believe that it is an evolutionary pattern. Some claim that antisocial behavior is not learned, but rather innate.

Theories are endless, but what makes a point? A child who has never been taught what empathy is may not completely understand the emotions of others. Children who do not learn about empathy can grow up without understanding how their actions affect those around them.

Here are some benefits of learning empathy:

  • It helps children develop social skills such as compassion and understanding.

  • Children learn how to cooperate through games such as “pretend” or “dialogue”.

  • Children learn how to express their emotions and how to work well together.

  • When children play together, they learn to understand each other’s emotions and needs. They also learn how to take turns and cooperate with others.

  • It helps children develop social skills such as compassion and understanding.

“All children have the capacity for empathy as natural to their psychology, but it is imperative that it be taught. It is a skill that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.” -Dr. Stephen Porges.

Why empathy is taught to the child?

Empathy is a critical component of social interaction. It is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s also a trait that many children are not taught. Children who are not taught empathy are often left with a lack of understanding for others, which can lead to bullying, violence and other social problems.

Empathy is a complex trait that can be broken down into three key components: cognitive, affective, and behavioral. These three components will teach us the true reason why empathy is taught to a child.

The irony of these three is they are often taught in the classroom but rarely used to their full potential because of the lack of understanding of how these parts of empathy interact with each other. Let us understand one by one.

  • The first component is cognitive. This part involves being able to identify and understand the thoughts and emotions of others. This is often taught in a classroom setting, but it can be difficult to teach children what empathy looks like because they are still learning how to identify and understand their own emotions.
  • The second component is affective, or emotional, which includes understanding how others feel when they are around you. This can include things such as understanding why someone might be happy to see you, but sad when they leave or understanding what someone might feel like when they have low confidence. Although the affective component of empathy is often taught in the classroom, it is still difficult for children to understand what these emotions look like because they are not old enough and haven’t developed the necessary skills yet.
  • The third component of empathy is social, which means taking actions to help others, such as comforting them and resolving conflicts with them. This component also entails the ability to put oneself in someone else’s shoes. This can be difficult for children because they don’t spend enough time understanding what it would be like if they were different. In addition, this component includes accepting the feelings of others. For example, if a child is feeling angry, but he has to go to a relative’s place, it would be difficult for him to accept that anger and go there in a happy mode.

How to teach empathy to a child?

Empathy can be taught to children in a variety of ways, including through books and films.

One way to teach children empathy is by telling stories about characters who possess certain types of emotions or learning the proper function of each emotion. Example of a story about compassion: “There was a group of chickens who were preparing for winter in the night. They were scared and lonely because the other animals had all gone to sleep. One chicken started shaking and after a while, she couldn’t stop crying from fear.”

Another way to teach children empathy is by telling stories about characters who experience emotions and work to overcome them. Example of a story about anxiety: “John was a little scared as he lay in the hospital bed with tubes going everywhere. He kept saying he wished his mom would be here.”

My favorite list of story/ activity books to teach empathy to your child:

  1. Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning about Empathy, by bob Sornson

  2. Empathy Is Your Superpower: A Book About Understanding the Feelings of Others, by Cori Bussolari

  3. I Am Human, by Susan Verde

  4. Kindness is my Superpower, by Alicia Ortego

  5. The invisible boy, by Trudy Ludwig

  6. Be kind, by Pat Zietlow Miller

  7. What is Empathy?, by Amanda Morin

  8. Empathy Workbook for Kids: 50 Activities to Learn About Kindness, Compassion, and Other People’s Feelings, by Hiedi France – A must try

  9. Be the Difference, by Jayneen Sanders

  10. We All Belong, by Nathalie Goss, Alex Goss

When we should teach empathy to our children?

The age at which empathy is taught to the child varies, but is most commonly around the age of three to five. This is when a child’s brain has developed enough to understand and process emotions.

Empathy is a complex behavior that cannot be taught but helps them to understand. It has to be learned through observation, imitation, and experience.

In the first three years of a child’s life, they are most happy and energetic. However, by their second birthday, their mood can easily change to a more negative one. This change is related to children starting school and the new social situations that arise with it. This can also be linked to children being exposed to hormones such as cortisol, which affects mood and behavior. Thus, it is very important for us to teach empathy at an early age.


Empathy will always be an important part of our lives. One should shower love and respect for each individual without any bias. It is on us how we treat another person. Remember, children learn what they see and experience.





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