A couple of weeks ago, I listened to parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba, the author of UnSelfie speak about the importance of child empathy at an event that showcased Hasbro’s Be Fearless Be Kind philanthropic initiative. This year, my husband Reggie and I are focusing on helping our kids grow as “givers” because they receive so many great things and experiences from family, friends and “blogger perks”. Since empathetic people tend to be givers, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss anything, so I taped Dr. Borba’s speech about the 4 best ways to teach your kids to be empathetic people.
-Real success is marked by kids who reach out to other human beings.
-The four tips serve as a framework to raise kids who think “we not me”/ cultivate empathy in kids.
-Habits – Make kindness a habit. Teach kids to be good for the right reasons, not just to win a trophy. They need to see examples; hear it in our words (i.e. form a family mantra regarding what you stand for as a family); and do it (i.e. family kindness jars and the two kind acts a day rule). These are the three ways that kids learn.
-Empathy – Expose kids to real, meaningful experiences (i.e taking care of a pet). Set unplugged time and teach kids to engage by looking at talkers’ eyes. The kind of activities that open up kids’ hearts include a “Roots of Empathy” course, a class “taught” by a baby.
-Rousing – Kids need rousing examples of goodness. Reading literary fiction (i.e. The Wednesday Surprise about a granddaughter teaching her grandmother how to read) and pointing out good news in the media are a couple of ways to show such images.
If you want to teach your kids to be empathetic (like I do!), these habits will help them become “Hero(es) of Heart” and cultivate kind-hearted children. This world definitely needs more empathetic people. I agree with Dr. Borba, [clickToTweet tweet=”‘The real success of a nation is how their kids turn out.'” quote=”‘The real success of a nation is how their kids turn out.'” theme=”style3″]
One lucky Mom in the City newsletter subscriber will win a hardcover copy of Michele Borba’s book, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World, that has been signed by the author. To enter to win, let me know your favorite way to foster kindness and empathy in kids by Friday, March 31st at noon EST. You can answer in the “Comments” section below or by sending an email with “UnSelfie” in the Subject line to [email protected]. Good luck!