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Children Have Natural Empathy, Dear Parent, You Need To Hone It!

Posted: February 5, 2020

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Young children are, quite often, much more empathetic and sympathetic than adults. Developing their empathetic nature is what parents need to work on.

Children, indisputably, are blessed with a number of gifts and talents. They bring with them a multitude of incredible skills and resources. Before we even try to explore their strengths, they already have taken baby steps to showcasing some of their talents and gifts.

They tend to give us an inkling into their interests and hobbies before we find their positive traits and competencies. As children, they showcase their hidden talents and give us a peak into their unique characteristics and traits. They make no secret of their creativity, intelligence and unique charm. Children try to bring their talents to the fore and express it to us, but quite often, we aren’t quick to open our eyes and applaud them for it.

Empathy is inborn in them

As parents, we think it is our responsibility to discover their hidden potential and bring it to light. While they don’t lose any opportunity to give us an insight into their gifts and abilities. Quite often, we believe that we know what is better for our children and end up acting on our personal desires and goals. Instead of identifying their talents, we push our desires upon them.

People often believe it is important to teach and develop empathy within children and raise them with sensitivity and understanding. What they tend to forget is that children are already born with copious amounts of empathy and sympathy.

They show sympathy towards all

Children have several great qualities and empathy isn’t really an alien concept to them. The adults some times tend to forget all about it in their hurry to compete and to succeed in the rat race. Kids, on the other hand, retain their innocence and grateful behaviour towards all species and life forms.

Children show affection towards other species and if they have pets around them, helps them grow their enthusiasm and empathy. My own child has the natural ability to admire birds and other domestic animals like cats and dogs. She has often observed birds coming calling to our house and demanded they be fed and be given breakfast lest they starve. Her respect towards plants, trees and other ‘lesser beings’ indicates her level of sensitivity towards the life forms that inhabit earth.

She is just as sensitive towards humans too. I remember one time I’d pulled a muscle. And I watched my daughter empathise with my pain as she tried to grab me while I squirmed in pain and agony. I could already see heightened levels of empathy and sensitivity in her.

It is important we encourage them to be sensitive

She, immediately, rushed to me to check if I was okay and drilled me with a number of questions probing to see if I needed to go see a doctor. What’s more was that she even came up with her personal recommendations and advice. It is extremely heartening to see her show the same degree of concern for her dad and grandparents. She ends up empathising with their suffering and even motivating and counselling them out of it.

As parents, it is imperative that we encourage and nurture their empathy and sensitivity instead of starting from scratch into developing it. Empathy is natural to the kids, so we just need to support them when it comes to their individuality and exclusive talents.

Isn’t that easy? But just remember if we fail to show them that we don’t support them in being empathetic they may lose or even forget how to empathise.

Picture credits: Pexels

First published here.

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