The pandemic posed many challenges for parents especially with the growing concern on the decline in empathy among kids. Parents realised that the years of isolation from other kids posed a serious gap in the social and emotional skills of their children. Many kids misbehave and most became uncaring and self-centered.
Empathy is understanding how other people feel or putting yourself in their shoes. It is different from Sympathy. Empathy is very valuable for human society because it is proven to have the power to resolve conflicts.
When our school came back to Face-to-Face classes, I realised that many of my students lack empathy and social skills. Our academic team discussed how we can focus on teaching these skills to our students. After weeks of observation. implementation and teaching, I gained many valuable insights on how parents can raise their children into empathetic human beings.
1. You as parents should model empathy and respond to misbehaving kids with empathy. Children learn to behave like their parents as parents are models of their child. Demonstrating empathy can provoke a child to learn and be empathetic towards others
2. Talk to your child if you are unhappy with certain things with him/her in a calm manner. This will help him/her process why some behaviours are not acceptable.
3. Listen to your child when he/she has something to share with you. Cultivating listening habits in the young mind is important because listening to others can develop empathy.
4. Help your child understand the world does not revolve around them. People are unique and each has different perspectives.
5. Ask them to reflect on themselves how they feel or see or behave in different situations at school/home/ neighborhood everyday. Encouraging self reflection from a young age helps them to deal with different scenarios.
6. Enrol your child in an international school. Studying at an international school allow students to embrace a global focus. International schools expose students to other cultures which can build a strong foundation of cultural understanding. Your children study with kids from different cultural backgrounds and different countries and this can help them be open-minded and empathetic.
Ms Yasmin is our Lower Primary Division leader. She believes that values education is a very important part of effective education.