Teaching Empathy

I think teaching empathy is one of the hardest tasks we have as caregivers, parents, and role-models in society.  I was recently reading an article on different strategies used in school settings to encourage empathetic sentiment in young children and found myself wondering how some are born with an inherent disposition to be more empathetic than others.  What constitutes an empathetic vs. a non-empathetic person and how can people be empathetic in some situations but not others?  One of the suggestions in the article for how to teach your child empathy was to encourage the child to formally address their feelings and the emotions of others in order to better recognize the subtleties of facial expressions and actions.  It’s very interesting to consider our first introductions to empathy and consider how empathy first plays a role in our early lives.

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