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How Parents CanCultivate Empathy in Children
Richard Weissbourd and Stephanie Jones
Making Caring Common Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education

"Empathy is at the heart of what it means to be human. It’s a foundation for acting ethically, for good relationships of many kinds, for loving well, and for professional success. And it’s key to preventing bullying and many other forms of cruelty. Empathy begins with the capacity to take another perspective, to walk in another’s shoes. But it is not just that capacity. Salespeople, politicians, actors and marketers are often very skilled at taking other perspectives but they may not care about others. 

Con men and torturers take other perspectives so they can exploit people’s weaknesses. Empathy includes valuing other perspectives and people. It’s about perspective-taking and compassion. How can parents’ cultivate empathy? The following are five guideposts based on research and the wisdom of practitioners." 

"1. Empathize with your child and model empathy for others...
2. Make caring for others a priority and set high ethical expectations...
3. Provide opportunities for children to practice empathy..
4. Expand your child’s circle of concern...
5. Help children develop self-control and manage feelings effectively..."