Cultivating Empathy In Children

My girls were NOT born self-motivated!  Talking helps.. Not just yakking kinda talk, but heart to heart kinda talk. And if a child has good bonding with the parents, no matter how small children can feel what we feel… be it sadness, happiness, anger, frustration or even to the extent of depression.

Me and my girls talk about everything under the sun. They can manage adult conversations well for their age. Not just the kiddie chats like most… Wink

When we read the papers and there are things of value to share, we openly discuss it and they can offer their opinions on this and that. When i bring them along for my volunteering sessions, they ask questions too? Like why this boy didn’t get to eat… why that child has bruise marks on his arm and face… why are they dressed in old clothes… (etc). Empathy can be instilled from young and children model after our behaviour, the way we speak & the way we connect with people. We should never think of children as empty vessels. Like the saying that children’s minds/brains are like sponges… children absorb. They absorb everything from their environment, but unfortunately all the good and also the undesirable. They’re always watching and they’re always listening, even though we may think sometimes they are not. Wink It’s up to us to cultivate a healthy balance of EQ and IQ. Catching up on this current rat-race lifestyle, we tend to overlook EQ, which will help our children be more confident children and sure of themselves without being peacock-proud. It is possible. Cool

For starters, one can try to share with children from young about feelings. Like say, you just came back from work and you share with them…

"Mummy had a lousy day at work. I had to rush through so many assignments till i didn’t have time to eat my lunch today? How about you? Did you have a good day? Why was it good? Ya know… when i was that busy at work today, all i could think about was being at home with my baby and hugging you. I think that’ll make me feel better… "

If the bb gives mummy a hug almost immediately, bb has felt the need for mummy to feel good.. Hugs If they are too young we can also initiate the fuzzy feeling… "Can you make mummy feel better, can you give mummy a nice hug? And let’s see if the lousy feeling goes away.. Hugs You won’t be surprised if there comes a day when the child had a tough day in school next time, she’ll just come up to you and say, "Mummy, can i get a cuddle?"

When my younger girl was feeling sad cos a friend threw a block at her, she did the same thing but she said, "I only feel a little bit better after the cuddle, but it still hurts." Hehee.. Laughing Good enuf.

When i scrub the toilet, and the girls peek in… I share with them. Hey, ya know what? This is hard work! I’m using all my energy to make this bathroom clean and fresh for all of us to use.. d’ya like how it looks and it sure smells nice to me. Whaddya’ think? Geez… all i want is a glass of icy cool coke to make my tiredness go away. But i know i still hafta clean your room later on so i think i’ll drink after that. So, you and jie-jie go play and i’ll join you later. I came back to find a clean, nicely swept bedroom and all tables and shelves wiped, plus a drink for me (plain water, not coke… ahakz! Laughing) and though tired as i was that day, i felt so good.

It’s not impossible.

If in relevance to learning, to instill motivation a young child can be exposed to good work routine, so that they won’t feel overwhelmed by the gradual work piled on them as they grow.  Good learning/studying routine will help children be focused. A nice timetable drawn up to practise good work routine helps too.  They will know what’s to be done at different periods of the day.  They will know what’s expected of them to do each day, so by the time we get back from work and catch up with the children, they are able to share their achievements. A timetable can be done together with the children so as to add in their share of play as well, just to be fair.. Wink As an example, i’ve alloted Mondays for Language, hence Mondays the children will take out their English assessments, books to read and games to play…. all under Language. Tuesdays we dedicate to Maths.

Again they will choose their assessments for the day and decide on the Math games to play. And so on for the other days of the week. As SAHM, i managed to start them off very young with this work routine from a few 15 mins to 30 mins a day, to a 3-hr work cycle daily today.

It can work if done systematically and over time the satisfaction is rewarding. Plus less nagging but instead more of the loving… Love Nothing can be automatic with children unless it has been instilled from young and beginning with small goals and making small achievements.

Try not to baby talk

I totally agree with Buds, do not baby talk.  My tot is only 16 months old but he understands everything that I said.  At times we try to discuss things about my maid when we bring him out to the playground, and he would start to clearing his throat in protest (er..hm…) .  I am not sure what he is thinking, but its his bonding time with dad and mum, he don’t like us distracted, so we postponed our conversation.

go to My homepage or SAHMs Opportunity.

U are so cool!!

I definitely like U , for U r so cool !

I like the way U express yourself , I admire your excellent command of English ;

I like your sense of humour , I like your heart-warming  articles and posts;

Hello there I’m newbie to this forum…just joined for 2 days 12 hours… yet I’ve already gotten hooked to it ! I’m WWW too, staying in Bt Batok… will report to it later… haven’t taken my bf leh   bad model for my DD hor… will try to learn from U 倧姐..for… Good learning/studying routine will help children be focused. A nice timetable drawn up to practise good work routine helps too.  Discipline on practising good life routine is what I need to learn now !

Will report myself in WWW later… bye for now…and LONG LIVE 倧姐 may the force be with U forever 

 

 

hey buds, thanks for making

hey buds, thanks for making my day too! can identify with so many things u mentioned. i always feel its impt for the parents to do the mundane stuff for the kids. washing for them, cooking for them etc. they wil appreciate it esp when they realise mama can always choose to go out there and earn more money for herself and yet choose to sacrifice her career to make sure her children get the best care and to make sure she’s around for her kids πŸ™‚

frankly, a lot of what u say abt cultivating empathy starts from young. babies who grow up in a loving, encouraging environment tends to be very generous in offering love, care and concern to the people around them too. thats y your two daughters care so much for u and the people around them i guess…

i certainly like the wash toilet story. though i dun wash toilet, i know my dd wil purposely make me happy by saying she loves the food i cook, although its nothing fanciful. may not even be delicious to her but she’ll say she love it and finish the whole bowl cos she knows it simply makes my day! πŸ™‚

Can count....

Can count the number of times..

But definitely still very very much appreciated..

 bÜds

Just for the record.. I

Just for the record.. I wash the toilet too hor!!!

Cheers!

wow... im really impressive

wow… im really impressive and inspired with the way you communicate with your gal gal… πŸ™‚ Such a loving mum and daughters…
 
Wanna learn fr you, buds!! Yes, I muz always remind myself not to baby talk to them… πŸ™‚ [Always forget as they are the youngest among our family members]
 
 

Thanks, Buds, for sharing

Thanks, Buds, for sharing your life experience.

I like the part that you are washing the toilet. Please share more in the furture.

Real Life Experiences

Yes, EN. You’re right! Nothing beats real life experiences.

It was a real eye-opener even for me! Bringing the girls

along to help the underprivileged kiddies out was a true

life learning experience. Like you, i too set aside toys that

they have not touched in a long time to be donated. Most

occassions prior to our voluntary stint, we donated to a

couple of neighbours along our floor. Most have young

kiddies themselves and a few non-locals as well. It

helps with neighbourly bonding. It’s nice to live in a

neighbourhood where looking out for one another is an

unspoken agenda.

 

While in the midst of the stint, when i set aside pre-loved

clothes for the underprivileged children that we taught, the

girls came up with the idea of having a mini classroom contest.

The children could like answer questions to win for themselves

prizes which would comprise of their pre-loved toys. This wud

make class revision more rewarding plus a nice last day of

lesson kinda parting gifts. My girls watched with awe how these

children, deprived of food, clothes and toys pit knowledge with

one another to win stuff not only for themselves but for their

siblings at home who were too young to attend the Early Literacy

lessons. It was soooo heartfelt….. touching reali. The girls said,

that they were surprised to see children so happy receiving used

toys. Actually, i already made sure that each child would go home

that last lesson with a pair of good clothing to wear for the festivities

and each won for themselves toys, bags, stationeries, books, (etc)…

It was more like a rigged lucky draw event. Heheheheee…   For

happy-happy oni aah…

 

The clothing which given were in time with the festivities(which was

just round the corner at that time)… the parents said they couldn’t have

wished for more. The group of children expressed their thanks sooo

loudly to my girls until they were so touched to tears. They felt so happy

that they kiddies appreciated their generosity in parting with their fav toys.

They felt good having made other people happy. Unlike those times

when we donated to anonymous people or agencies, this was a real life

experience they would remember in a long time.

 bÜds

Kudos to you too, mate! ;)

Heyya EN, your principle on we do things for ourselves ring true for us too!

It doesn’t mean that when we have helpers she’s always a shout away for

us to instruct a task for example as simple as cleaning our own bed or

getting a glass of water, especially when the maid is busy attending to

other household chores.

 

My mum ever said, if one day i were to have a maid…. i should always

remember that our husband’s favourite drink shud be made and served

by US wives, not the maids. Even if the maid was to do majority of the

other things, we should try our best to serve our husband drinks esp when

he comes home from work or that hot cuppa coffee he must have daily…..

When the drinks are served by us, it is served with love she said. And we

don’t want the maid to get all the loving, ain’t it? She adds that there must

be a line drawn to the things we should do ourselves and not be dependent

on the maid, so as to not lose the personal touch of a mother or the personal

wifey-touch in the house. 

 

Well, we never had a maid before and hubs sure doesn’t seem or intend to

get one either. He helps around the house; with the household chores without

any need for prompting, hinting or asking. Yup… as thoughtful as that. 

He shares the idea, that the kiddies should learn to have responsibilities just

like how we were raised in the olden days, and like you mentioned : to enable

them to appreciate people better, provide a sense of responsibility and the fact

that no one is above the rest except God. Parents or the maid, aren’t their

humble servants to constantly be at beck and call. Children should learn

to do things for themselves and not be dependent on others. Well… at least

not all the time…. for every single thing… 

 

 bÜds

Touch & Connect

Heyya Skippy, I cannot agree with ya more on that. Touching and connecting

brings us family together in an unconditional manner that exudes the warmth

of being loved. Yah, i suppose i got looooaaads of expression. Hehee..

I love your phrase. "6 Huggles A Day" has a VERY NICE ring to it! I shared

with my DD2 and she thought it was cute! She likes to use the word cuddle.

So i suppose huggle gives a nice rhyme to her favouorite word.

 bÜds

Family Hug!

Heyya ZacK, I can soooooo relate to that, bro!  

I created the Family Hug. It started one day when all 4 of us

were on the bed, tickling, laughing, rolling and kidding around

with each other. Suddenly everyone just stopped moving and

looked at one another. Mebbe due to exhaustion from all the

laughing…   The look everyone had in our eyes were of

sheer happy moment look….. at which i shouted, FAMILY HUG!!!

Then everyone came rolling over to me in a big family embrace.

So since that, the girls have came up with their own kinda hugs

as well. Like your DS1, they created the "Good Morning Hug",

the "Goodnight Hug" and the "Baby Hug". Even daddy created

his own hug, it’s called…. "I Want It Hug……." 

Wuahahahahahaaa!  

 bÜds

Try not to baby talk...

Yah, RRMummy….. the minute the child is born, parents should not

baby talk to the child. Speak as per normal how we would talk amongst

ourselves (assuming we are proper-non-vulgar speaking parents… hahaa..).

I’m the sort of long winded mum who simply speaks in detail and descriptively.

 

For example in between watching TV sittings also I can butt in to explain what

a certain show portrays or trying to teach and so on. To help them look out for

the good and the bad in TV programmes. And because they started from young

they are mature enough to sit through an entire movie earnestly understanding

the story lines. Watching TV together with our children not only offers them

guidance but provides for quality bonding as well.

 bÜds

Cultivating empathy in children - walk the talk

When i bring them along for my volunteering sessions, they ask questions too? Like why this boy didn’t get to eat… why that child has bruise marks on his arm and face… why are they dressed in old clothes… (etc). Empathy can be instilled from young and children model after our behaviour, the way we speak & the way we connect with people. We should never think of children as empty vessels.

Nothing beats the real life experience rather than just a mere discussion. Kudos to you my friend for bringing your daughters along when you do your volunteer sessions.

I remember my mother used to pack my clothing and books to be given to poorer relatives. DS came with this idea, took all his growing up books, good condition but out grown clothing, shoes and unused bags (I’m a shopping queen), asking me to sell them off in internet. Instead, what I learnt from mum, I instill it to my kids. I told them instead of selling, we give those items to those in need.

I used to have a maid. Even though I have a maid then, my kids are required to wash their own plates and keep the house tidy. Now that I’m maidless, they must learn to help out too. Change their own bedsheets, make their own bed, help to put away neatly groceries that I have just bought, hang and fold their own clothing. They now know how much work a maid does and appreciate the nice job the maid has done.

Cultivating Empathy

You are very cute buds, love your sense of expression ! I totally agree, the more we touch and connect, the more kids learn to do the very same.  In fact, I can’t get buy without six huggles a day as I call it !!  We should declare one entire day and a public holiday for this, don’t you think? !!  Skippy πŸ™‚

I so agree with what you

I so agree with what you are saying 

When our helper had the accident that left a cut on her face, I told DS1 "auntie XX is not feeling well cos she hurt herself, so you have to behave yourself and not make a mess" He nodded … Then later that day heard DS1 ask our helper if it was still painful and he hopes that she gets better  

This one made my day… Last week when we were on self-quarantine… Woke up in the morning and was reading the papers, DS1 come out from his room, saw me  and said… "Come papa let’s have a good morning hug! … I love you papa… "  …. You can guess that made my day!

Quote buds:And if a child

Quote buds:

And if a child has good bonding with the parents, no matter how small children can feel what we feel… be it sadness, happiness, anger, frustration or even to the extent of depression.

Me and my girls talk about everything under the sun. They can manage adult conversations well for their age. Not just the kiddie chats like most… Wink

Yes agree 100%! I subscribe to this too.. I think it is good for them and the family…

DD2 after DD1 made me very angry one day : Mummy, are you still angry? Your heart is broken or not? 

Makes all the anger melt away..  

 

 

Related Articles