The answer is yes.
Before we talk about the importance of empathy on kids, it might be best to understand what empathy is. Empathy is something that is stronger than sympathy. While sympathy is a shared feeling of sorrow, pity, or compassion towards another person, empathy is the ability to put yourself in the place of another person and understand their emotions.
During their early childhood, young children are usually very ego-centric by nature and often times think mostly about themselves rather than about the needs of another person. They are not ready to consider the feelings of other people.
However, developing and teaching empathy on kids is an important thing to do as it will benefit them from their childhood until their adult life. It’s important to help children understand that their own actions can impact other people and to let them know that someone might be experiencing a certain feelings at a certain time.
Helping your children to develop their sense of empathy will gives a few benefits during childhood, such as:
Helps the child building a sense of security and stronger relationships
When we teach empathy on kids, our child will try to position themselves on their peers situation. This will create a stronger relationship between them and their friends or educator. With a stronger relationship, the atmosphere at school will be better suited for studying.
It will encourage children to accept others
Usually, children won’t realize that each person is different. Once they learn about empathy, they might be able to start seeing the difference and will try to accept other people for it. Not only that, but empathy will also teach them about tolerance.
It can reduce the likelihood of bullying
One reason why bullying happens is because children saw something different from them. With empathy, there will be lower number of bullying because with empathy, children will tend to promote harmony and peace instead of mocking someone else because they are different.
It promotes good mental health
By teaching empathy on kids, they will create a safe space for them and their friends. Experiencing empathy from others will create an emotional connection, love, and support. It will also reduce anxiety, feelings of loneliness, and depression.
Not only during childhood, but teaching empathy on kids will also affect them as they become adults, and those are:
- A higher level of happiness
- Better ability to understand other people such as their co-workers or customers.
- Becoming a good leader
- A lower level of stress overall
In a simpler term, helping to develop empathy on kids is vital in nurturing the ability to regulate emotions within children.