Qualities to Teach your Child: Empathy (emotional intelligence)
Assist your children to develop these qualities and they’ll forever be grateful, even if they don’t realise. These qualities will forever stay with them and impact their lives in ways greater than any knowledge they might acquire at school or university.
EMPATHY (Emotional Intelligence)
“No man is an island”. We are social beings, and the systems that we depend on to have a comfortable life are complex and require many individuals to make it work.
Contrary to popular belief, no man is ever a “self-made man”. Everything you do and everything you become has its roots on those that have gone before you. Not realising this and “taking credit” for everything achieved leads to a self-centred and egotistic personality.
“Empathy” means “in-sensation”.
“Apathy” means “no-sensation”.
Would you care for your child if you didn’t have empathy for child?
You feel for your child. You suffer when your child suffers. You sense for your child. You have a sensibility (ability-to-sense) and thus you are sensible regarding the well being of your child. Expand this “ability to sense” towards everyone and you will be a “good person”. You will care for everyone’s well being. You will be able to relate with everyone as you are able to “place yourself in the other’s shoes”.
Empathy is a sense common to all. It is “common sense”. But, if this is not nurtured, it will turn into apathy, indifference, and disregard.
“Do onto others that which you would like them to do onto you”. This is Empathy in application.
HOW can you help your child to have Empathy?
- Teach your child the principle “Do to others what you would like them to do to you”. Also explain it the other way around so that the child understands what not to do: “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”
- Teach your child to have empathy for animals:
– Get a pet and make an agreement on helping to care for it daily: food, water, play, walks in the park, brushing, playing, etc. Different animals have different needs.
– Watch nature programs with your child and explain the interdependence and interconnectedness between us, the animals, and nature.
- Take your child to a social environment (playground, park, beach, etc.) and teach him or her to share the toys and the space, showing consideration and care for others.
- With siblings, make sure you do not tolerate fights, retaliation, and revenge. When it happens assist them to forgive each other. Spitefulness is unacceptable.”Play fight” is still play, but there is a fine line between fun and pain. Make sure they know the limits by considering each other’s well being.
- Be selective with the kind of toys you give your child, the cartoons, and the games he or she watches and plays. Remember, “monkey see, monkey do”.
WHY should your child have Empathy?
Empathy leads to Emotional Intelligence. This a highly valuable ability because of our social nature and it is essential for self-creation.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s feelings and emotions, and as such we become more effective and likeable social beings that can have a positive impact on those around us.
Those on the path of apathy have meaningless lives, for they have given up on Life itself. Set your child’s path towards Empathy and a Purpose will ensue.
What other qualities are important?
I would like to invite you to share what other quality you see are important, how we can help our children develop them and why they are important.