Teach your kids the power of empathy. teach your kids
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_custom_heading text=”inspiration” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23ce879f” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Today we’ve been inspired by this article in education world, which talks about an app and a reading program that is designed to help teachers and parents to teach empathy in schools and at home.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_custom_heading text=”why is empathy important?” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23ce879f” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Notwithstanding the fact that empathy is an integral part of human relationships, in a future where automation is gathering pace and even the nice white-collar jobs that once were the preserve of the well-educated are already under threat. (If that sounds a little far-fetched then check this out and this). Being fantastic at dealing with other human beings is something that will enable our children to stand out (so far at least, technology has not adequately replaced this element of our existence).

Empathy is a critical part of human interaction, the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes, enables us to understand, communicate and be better placed to help another person. A very valuable skill indeed.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_custom_heading text=”so how to teach our kids?” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23ce879f” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]We like the short video we have embedded here, it contains a great idea that works brilliantly especially for younger kids. Parents are encouraged to share with their kids how their day went and to describe how they felt emotionally as a result of what happened during the day.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_raw_html]JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjIzNTIlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzMTAlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbSUyRmVtYmVkJTJGaWd0dHl2bjB6VzQlM0ZyZWwlM0QwJTIyJTIwZnJhbWVib3JkZXIlM0QlMjIwJTIyJTIwYWxsb3dmdWxsc2NyZWVuJTNFJTNDJTJGaWZyYW1lJTNF[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]An emotional connection is the first step towards empathy and helping kids to understand, label and to talk about emotions is something we can best do by sharing of ourselves first.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”for slightly older kids” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23ce879f” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]An exercise we did with our 8 year olds earlier this year worked well. It’s based on an NLP exercise called Perceptual Positions where you physically move position to put yourself in another person’s shoes. This works brilliantly well around the dinner table as you can move into someone else’s chair (that they have vacated of course) and use this positional change to ‘put yourself in their place’ and discover how they might be experiencing something.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”the exercise” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23ce879f” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]At the dinner table after a meal, get up and swap chairs and ‘become’ for a moment the person whose chair that you are now sitting in. Take a moment to imagine what it would be like to be that other person.

Now take it in turns to describe how that person would deal with a particular situation. You can use the following situations (same one for each person or a different one), or come up with some of your own.

  • How they feel 1st thing in the morning?

  • What their day at school or work was like?

  • How do they feel doing their favourite thing?

As you sit in the chair of the other person:

  • How would they think?

  • What would they feel?

  • What would they say?

  • What would they do?

The idea here is to get the kids to try and imagine what it’s like to be someone else, to walk in their shoes and see the world through their eyes, physically moving location really helps to enhance the experience. It’s a powerful exercise that can be used for real life situations too, particularly for family disputes. Have each party sit in different chairs, say their piece and then swap and say what the other person is thinking, feeling, saying and doing.

If you would like a more in-depth explanation about this exercise you can read this, for a quick and easy version you can read this instead.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”the daily lifehack summary” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23ce879f” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1465380438845{border-top-width: 3px !important;border-right-width: 3px !important;border-bottom-width: 3px !important;border-left-width: 3px !important;padding-top: 40px !important;padding-right: 40px !important;padding-bottom: 40px !important;padding-left: 40px !important;background-color: #ce879f !important;border-left-color: #58646d !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #58646d !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #58646d !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #58646d !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;}”]

Cultivate a sense of empathy in your kids:

Exercise 1: Share instead of asking- tell them about your day rather than asking about theirs
Exercise 2: perceptual positions- use physical location and your imagination to view the world through someone else’s eyes
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