Teaching empathy

Robert Brooks, PhD Therapist & Author, shares advice for parents on the best methods for teaching empathy to young children
How to Teach Children Empathy
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Teaching empathy

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Some people have asked me; can you teach empathy? I think, in part, you can. One of the things is that there are so many opportunities as our children develop, to help them to start to see the world through the eyes of another child. When your child takes another child's toy, it's very easy to say, "How do you think Billy feels now that you took his toy?" I think children can actually be empathic. They can take another perspective, but it takes time. Most importantly, I think how the parents model empathy is very important. Model is a very vital skill. For example, I once saw a father who was angry at the son for yelling at the sister. The son came right back and said, "You're angry with me, you should see the way you talk to mom." What the father hadn't realized was that he wasn't serving as a very empathic model for his wife, and the son was not learning more effective ways of being empathic, to appreciate how he came across to other people.

Robert Brooks, PhD Therapist & Author, shares advice for parents on the best methods for teaching empathy to young children

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Robert Brooks, PhD

Therapist & Author

Dr. Robert Brooks is a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.  He has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about the themes of resilience, parenting, family relationships, school climate, and balancing our personal and professional lives. He is the author or co-author of 15 books and has also appeared in several videos pertaining to helping children to become more responsible, self-disciplined, hopeful, and resilient.

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