(Dewar 2009)

Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.

"Teaching empathy? This might sound strange if you think of empathy as a talent--something we either have or lack. But research also suggests that empathy is a complex phenomenon involving several component skills:

Teaching empathy tip 

  • #1: Address your child’s own needs, and teach him how to “bounce back" from distress...
  •  #2: Be a “mind-minded" parent...
  • #3: Seize everyday opportunities to model—and induce—sympathetic feelings for other people...
  • #4: Help kids discover what they have in common with other people...
  • #5: Teach kids about the hot-cold empathy gap...
  • #6: Help kids explore other roles and perspectives...
  • #7: Show kids how to “make a face" while they try to imagine how someone else feels...
  • #8: Help kids develop a sense of morality that depends on internal self-control, not on rewards or punishments...
  • #9: Teach (older) kids about mechanisms of moral disengagement.
  • #10: Inspire good feelings (and boost oxytocin levels) through pleasant social interactions and physical affection...."


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