We spend a lot of time talking about empathy; studies into how we can rediscover it as adults, the unlikely places we can find it, and the consequences of neglecting it. But among all this, it’s so important that we remember where to begin – by teaching children and young people. This article, from neuroscientist Erin Claybough, on mindbodygreen is about how creativity and imagination feeds into, as well as practical tips for, cultivating this essential skill.
We want our kids to act compassionately. As parents, we envision a future where our adult child will change the world, help others, and make a difference. We have high hopes. But how do we get there? Neuroscience has good news for parents: Teaching empathy is easy to do and works at any age. There are concrete steps you can take to raise an awesome person. The younger the children, the larger the empathy gains will be. If you’re having one of those days when you feel like your child is showing zero empathy, no worries—you can still dig in as a parent. Studies show that the lower the initial empathy levels, the higher the gains after training.