How can we cultivate empathy in children?
In an episode of The Mum Show, Marina Magdalena, Emma Browne and Claire Hooper talk about cultivating empathy in children. How can a parent teach their kids to have empathy for other people?
Claire admits that she hasn’t figured it out herself but one thing she does is teach her children to not let something go on forever. Take time to know what’s going on, to self-reflect, and decide on how to act about the situation. Rushing to react would just make things bigger. Being patient is the beginning of being empathic.
“Looking at the short account side of it, the only thing to teach empathy, you can teach them to not allow something to go on for a long long long long time. Let’s just pause, self-reflect, have a look at what’s going on,” Claire said.
Every age and gender reacts differently, there’s no template in teaching the kids empathy. As a parent, you should know your children well and teach them according to what suits them best. When you’ve got children struggling with forgiveness, pause and take time to teach them to think about other people.
Jesus even showed us how to teach forgiveness to others. When Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother, Jesus told a story of the servant who owes a debt to the king. He begged for mercy and the King forgave him. However, when he went out and met a fellow servant who owed him money, he demanded payment and threw him in prison when he couldn’t pay.
“I just love the way that Jesus captures this moment about forgiveness which is God’s greatest message to the world at this point. He is coming to lay His life down on a cross, forgiveness is everything, you are forgiven. You are free is this big message coming from Christ,” Marina explained.
“Jesus really took the time to discuss the whole process of forgiveness and what that means.”
Read also: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FORGIVENESS AND EMPATHY
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