Building Empathy

February 3, 2016

How do children develop emotional intelligence? Through practice!

You can help them identify emotions and how to express those emotions appropriately. Any time we ask our kids to reflect on their behavior, what their feelings were, why they acted the way they did, why other people are behaving the way they are, we are building that emotional intelligence in them.

 

Everyday there are opportunities at home…

  • When reading a book at night ask your child to identify the feelings of the people in the artwork. 

  • Point out the moment when a child is caring to you or their sibling.

  • Any time your child sees someone hurt at the playground or maybe they've been hurt themselves you can ask them the following questions

    • "How would you feel if that happened to you?" What would you need and what does the other person need to feel better?

Everyday there is an opportunity to teach them about their inner world. If they had a rough day at school, instead of just talking about the behaviors or what they did, you talk about what was going inside of them – what they felt, what they were thinking, what they remember about what was going on. Research shows, children who have developed emotional intelligence can go out in the world knowing themselves and being fully present for anything they encounter in their lives.

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