Is it just me, or do many children today just don’t care too much about other people’s feelings? Apparently, adults everywhere are picking up on these signs too. Whether it’s taking a toy from another child without qualms to purposely avoiding people who look ‘different’ such as differently-abled ones, children these days seem to be alarmingly less empathic. Dr. Michele Borba writes about the subject in her blog and offers tips on how to teach your child to care about other people’s feelings.
Parental discipline needed to help develop empathy in children
Dr. Borba stresses that children cannot develop skills of empathy by themselves. Parental support, supervision and encouragement are needed to develop empathy in children. She quotes renowned researcher Martin Hoffman as saying that parents have to reason with their children about their uncaring behavior to help them become more empathic.
For her part, Dr. Borba came up with an acrostic called CARE that should serve as a guide for parents in helping make their children more caring. C stands for Call Attention to the Uncaring Behavior. A, meanwhile, means Ask, “How Would You Feel?”. R means Recognize the Action’s Consequence, and E stands for Express and Explain Your Disapproval of the Uncaring Behavior.
I can totally relate to this article because I have seen a lot of uncaring behavior in children. On a daily basis, I see children in my neighborhood throw garbage wherever they please; call each other names that kids their age shouldn’t even know about in the first place; and more commonly, obvious disrespect for their parents, especially among the pre-teen set. Hopefully, Dr. Borba’s tips would do some good if parents make it a point to use them to address uncaring behavior in children.
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