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5 Children Books That Teach Empathy

Empathy is the ability to experience and have an understanding of the feelings of others and responding in useful ways. For some children it is easier to develop empathy more inherently than others, but this is a crucial life skill that needs to be taught to all children.

Children with empathy are less likely to bully others and are more likely to help another child that falls victim to bullying. They are also more prone to grow into well-balanced adults with adaptive surviving skill. It is never too early to start teaching your children about empathy, and children books that teach empathy are a great way to go about it, especially for young kids.

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5 Children Books That Teach Empathy

The Best Way To Teach Your Child About Empathy

The most effective way to teach your child about how to be emphatic is to by practicing it yourself. Pick your children up when they fall, listen to them when they express their feelings and tell them how you feel too. Stay calm when your child is throwing a temper tantrum and guide them through it instead of walking away.

When your child sees how you respond to problematic situations through empathy they will learn to act accordingly and how to respond in the same way.

Emotional Needs Of A Child

Parenting can be demanding at times and your kids can try your patience with their roller-coaster emotions. But it’s important to acknowledge that they need to be heard and helped when things get too overwhelming for them.

Once a child has a secure bond with his parents and they feel that their emotional needs are met, it will be more probable for them to show empathy towards others.

Every child needs security and their emotional well-being plays an integral role in feeling secure.

Give Them Responsibilities

A child who learns responsibility from a young age i.e. caring for a pet or getting involved with community projects can help teach them to be more caring and feeling empathy for an animal or human being.

It’s easy to feel tempted in solving every problem that our little ones may face, but by doing this, we are depriving them of the opportunity to learn critical life skills.

Once a child learns problem-solving, they will be more likely to help a friend or sibling.

Teaching Them To Identify Their Feelings

It’s vital to label a child’s feelings for them whether good or bad so that they can start connecting emotional reactions with words that express different feelings.

It’s not possible to understand another person’s feelings if you’re unable to understand your own.

You can help them by reading children books that teach empathy. Make reading and TV time a learning experience. Point out non-verbal cues and facial expressions to teach them about different feelings.

5 Children Books That Teach Empathy

  1. I am human by Susan Verde (A book of Empathy)

This book highlights all the challenging and wonderful parts of what it entails to be a human being. This educational story is a children’s book that teaches children that it is okay to make mistakes sometimes and also emphasizes the influence of making good choices i.e. saying you’re sorry or offering a smile or kind word.

This picture book is a merriment of compassion and empathy that boosts the blemished completeness of humanity while encouraging kids to see themselves as part of one humongous imperfect family.

This is a great pick of children books that teach empathy.

  1. Stand in my shoes: Kids learning about empathy – by Bob Sornson

This book is about a little girl called Emily who asks her big sister about the meaning of the word empathy. Emily doesn’t realize that knowing the answer will transform her ability of how she looks at other people. But does it make a difference to others when Emily notice how they are feeling?

This book, written by Bob Sornson, teaches children how simple it is to develop empathy towards others around them. Empathy is the ability to notice what others are feeling and practicing kindness. It helps develop personal relationships and social skills which enrich our lives and help translate to our children. This book teaches kids the value of noticing the feelings of others.

  1. You, me and Empathy – by Jayneen Sanders

This book is about a little boy girl called Quinn that shows a copious amount of understanding, kindness and compassion towards others.

The story helps parents to teach their children about what it means to be emphatic and understanding how another person feels and recognizing their needs. Also, that empathy help us to connect with other people no matter their race, culture and diversity.

Included are discussions and questions for caregivers, parents and educators and recommended activities that promotes kindness and empathy in children.

  1. Teach your dragon empathy – by Steve Herman

This story is about having a dragon as a pet. He can do many things like sit, play, roll-over, lit a campfire or candle a birthday cake but what do you do when your dragon doesn’t care about the feelings of others? What if he says and does things to others that he may regret later? What must you do?

The answer is teaching him empathy. You need to teach him how to be considerate, understand how others feel, how to get along and putting himself in their shoes.

This fun, entertaining and cute book with stunning illustrations is teaching children how to do just that. A must-have book for teachers, parents and children who needs to learn the meaning of being kind, compassionate or feeling empathy.

This is one of the best children books that teach empathy with a 4.9 star rating on Amazon.

  1. I am peace: a book of mindfulness – By Susan Verde

This book teaches children that even if the world feels chaotic at times, you can find peach through practicing mindfulness.

It teaches children to express your emotions through direct speech, finding empathy through imagination and connecting with earth.

This book is an excellent choice for bedtime or classroom. The expressive illustrations and straightforward narration bring the principles to a kid-friendly level. “I am Peace” will assist readers of all ages to feel restored and grounded.

Can you recommend other great children books that teach empathy?

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  1. I am loving all of these books Lynne! I don’t know how to narrow it down to a couple lol. Maybe I will just get them all when I get paid haha. I love children books and Love reading to my kids. My youngest Loves to pretend to read right now so this would be some amazing books for her. Thank you for introducing us!

  2. I love the post. we often forget to teach our children how to empathize!! & I think it’s surely the way to teach our children to love. Children are fast learners so we’ve to follow the same path too.
    Empathy brings out compassion and helping nature which would become the building blocks of our society & make it united and strong. so I’m going to recommend these books to my sister and friends.

  3. In the times that we are living in Empathy is a virtue to be valued the most. In the diverse world that we live in, tolerance and understanding are so important. This can only come about when empathy for others is built into our value systems. It is necessary to have this quality ingrained into kids early on. Books are a great medium that helps here. The books that you have listed are all good and geared to teach empathy in a simple and fun way.

  4. Stories are the best way to teach children life skills and values. All the books you have listed are excellent. I remember when my son was little we made up all kinds of stories based on what we wanted him to know and learn. Empathy is a crucial quality that every human must understand and practice. Love your post, Lynne. Children learn so quickly!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing my book You, Me and Empathy! It is an honor to be on your list. Just curious? why did you think Quinn was a boy? Cheers Jayneen

    • Hi Jayneen – it is a pleasure to share your book, and it is fantastic to have you join in the discussion here. I loved all the examples on the playground that are given, such a good learning tool for kids. Regarding Quinn, I just had another quick squizz at the book and honestly Quinn comes across to me as a boy! I guess Quinn is a name that I associate more as male than female.

  6. Thuliswa Phaliso

    This is great. I need to purchase some for my nephew and the can be used by my baby in a couple of years, as I am expecting

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