Raise A Compassionate Child Because Having Empathy Is An Assurance For Happiness

By Grace Jones, Parent Herald December 01, 06:04 pm
Putting yourself in someone else's shoes is also a crucial building block for other caring emotions.
(Photo : Rivka Malka Perlman)

The 2-year-old boy, Benjamin is frustrated over dinner. The mere frustrations get worst that causes him to have a full tantrum.  His 4-year-old sister, Ellie, checks him out to see what's wrong. She alerts, Susan Rivers, her mother in their home in Newton, Massachusetts, saying that he's angry over something.

How can we make him happy? Rivers throws a leading question into her daughter for her to try to analyze what her brother feels. Would a cookie help in alleviating Benjamin's bad mood or can his Legos change that? Her little girl really tries to know his feelings and see how she can make it better for him, Rivers observes.

Ellie's gestures are heart-warming but that's not all the learnings here. Being sensitive to other people's emotions leads us into doing the right thing that nurtures relationships with family members, friends, and acquaintances. 

Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., Child Trauma Academy senior doctor resident, in Houston, says that empathy is the greatest single gift of human existence. The co-author of "Born for Love" explains the sub-title of the book; "Why Empathy Is Essential - and Endangered." Survival would not be possible without having the ability to connect with other people and find ways to work productively with each other.

Caring emotions can be triggered when you put yourself in other people's shoes. Humans thrive better even in today's stressful world when the sense of gratitude, hope, and compassion are developed. That's acting out on empathy, Christine Carter, Ph.D. explains, as per the article from Psychology Today.

A child can fully learn empathy from 18 months and at four-years-old, they can already relate how kind gestures to others are connected with own satisfaction. Such responses are natural within normal environments but this can be enhanced by parents by leading their children into doing relevant actions in response to a certain situation, according to Parents.

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