Being emphatic is something that we often consider a weakness in today’s society. People are too afraid to get close to each other and tend to keep emotions and thoughts to themselves – even more so if someone is asking for help or opinions from outside sources. Emphatic people are unfortunately few and far in-between in the corporate world because the climate itself is relentless and doesn’t forgive weakness. But how can we use empathy as strength and teach our children to use it to their advantage?
A health factor
Believe it or not, it feels good when you let go of something you have been holding on to for a long time. Grudges, ill feelings or anger that builds up inside can tear a person apart in an instant. People who lack empathy from their parents at an early age tend to develop cold personalities and distance themselves from others.
These people are acting instinctively, often neglecting to open up because they are afraid of betrayal or misunderstanding. Teaching children about empathy and how it’s good to be there for others is important. It allows kids to build connections much more organically and share small secrets and memories with their friends on a deeper level. Kids who let go of their inner feelings and have someone to talk to about it are far more likely to become positive and forthcoming people down the line.
Teamwork and leadership
Empathy makes people understand each other more than usual. It triggers different emotions than a simple conversation would. Empathic people are natural-born leaders and teamwork is their favorite type of work. Being in charge of a team is a nice thought, but what happens if the team is volatile and members hate each other?
Talking it out is important and emphatic people are far more likely to diffuse the situation and keep working than a usual corporate executive would. Teaching children to play together and share toys and food with each other is an important part of learning about empathy. Feeling what other children feel can make a world of difference when communicating on the playing field and this will ripple into their futures as well.
Lessons about money, housing, jobs, marriages, etc. are best learned through empathy. The learning process of a child is constant – their school never goes into recess. This means that they suck up every bit of knowledge that comes their way and it’s up to us to filter that information into something useful and empathic.
Try talking to your children by using real world examples of happy couples, jobless people who can’t afford food or rent, college students struggling to get by, etc. While these ideas might be too complex for their young minds, the empathy will kick in either way – children love to help others and express their opinions. Be their guide and let them express what they really feel. It will make them more mature and responsible at a much younger age, even giving you options to trust them with important tasks without fear of failure.
Empathy plays a huge role in making our children more creative and open minded. Triggering certain emotions and asking the kids to act how they feel will likely make them confused at first, but they will soon embrace their empathy as a tool to use.
Try playing some puzzle or family games with your kids and try to connect the game you are playing with scenarios that involve empathy. Having one of the figures gets left behind and unable to continue the game should make the child feel sad and wanting to help. Connect these small moments of empathy with creative exercises such as drawing, painting or even block building. This will allow the child to freely express their creative minds and develop new ideas using their emotions.
They can then use these creative skills down the line in design, writing or any number of creative fields that require empathy as their driving force. You can check out https://www.trustmypaper.com to see the effects of creative professionals that can write and edit your papers; your child can develop habits similar to these.
The best way to trigger a will for personal development is through empathy. Letting your child see how they can look like in the future if they work hard enough and are honest about themselves can work wonders. Make sure that you find positive and empathic examples of young adults who can be their role models and help them develop their own skills.
Whether its ballet, football or playing violin – all of these can be targets for personal development and help your child determine their life paths. Being emphatic about their childhood idols can help them discover and reach their dreams, even years down the line. Just remember that personal development might be a too complex subject to discuss with a young child so keep the technicalities to a minimum and focus on what’s important.
Patience and communication
Having a child that feels for other people is a wonderful prospect, but also a dangerous one. Your child will grow into a patient individual who can effectively use active listening and communicate their thoughts fluently. It’s up to you as a parent to guide them towards that goal and let them know of everything that’s going on.
Explain any questions they might have, as random as they can be – being honest with them can only lead to further honesty between you. Just imagine how effective and communicative your child will be years in the future if they know how to express what they really feel inside – and all of it starts with working on childhood empathy.
Developing emotional responses with children can be tricky and sometimes even dangerous. Your child might be confused about what’s going on and further shut themselves from communicating, which is the negative side-effect of empathy in learning.
While it does happen from time to time, no child stays shut down permanently and they always find a new toy, game or a friend that pulls them out of it. Be happy that your child is actively learning about empathy at an early age and make sure that you are available as a parent any time it needs you to be.