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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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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?