Parents often encourage their kids to be independent and feel good about themselves, but these worthy goals could have unintended consequences in social-media culture. Psychologists have suggested that in recent decades, the capacity of kids to care has plummeted while self-absorption has skyrocketed. This apparently puts the humanity of children at stake. Recent research has suggested that giving children opportunities to learn and show empathy can help them personally and reduce other complex problems like violence.
The Capacity of Kids to Feel Empathy Has Diminished in Recent Decades
Doctors who have worked with kids in schools have given many specific suggestions for helping children learn empathy and be kind and inclusive. The recommendation is that they be given the opportunity to develop the ability to read nonverbal cues in gestures, facial expressions, posture, and voice tone. Spending time with a baby is another powerful way for children to learn emotions. Kids can also spend time with cousins, neighbors, and siblings to learn empathy. Studies regarding such practices have been found to be effective.
Kids Should Build a Feeling Vocabulary to Learn Empathy Faster
Building a feeling vocabulary is a great way to teach kids empathy. The more words representing feelings a child knows, the more understanding he or she will be about how other people are feeling. Interestingly, studies have pointed out that parents often use more emotion words around girls than around boys.
Face-to-face communication is another crucial factor when it comes to teaching emotions. Kids learn to read someone’s emotions through eye contact, so when talking to your child, people should really stop whatever else they’re doing. Reminding a child to do this with other people is also very important. A good trick to make a child face people during conversation is to make it more fun through games like staring contests or anything like that.
In general, scientists recommend that children spend less time with screens and more time with each other and their parents. By adhering to such an approach, parents can ensure that their kids have greater odds that their empathy will blossom.