Step into My Shoes
Encouraging Empathy in Early Elementary School Children
Teachers & Parents

Filling the Need

Feelings are the universal language of humanity. Across every culture and civilization, the language of emotion is the same.  Emotions are natural, yet the management of emotions are learned. Children model after those who live in their immediate worlds. The world is not perfect, and leads to a variety of needs. Children need grown-ups who care and will help them meet ther basic human needs to be understood, to be in control, to belong, and to reach their potential.

 

Growing up in an evironment overloaded with entertainment technologies can lead to a deficit of authentic human interaction. Excessive screen time could also contribute to inappropriate role models, and a lack of practice in social situations. Some children have a different biological wiring. Children with autism, or ADHD, have a special need for adapted empathy development. Other children, due to environments of neglect or abuse, may harbor hurt and have difficulty processing and expressing how they feel in a healthy manner. Whatever the need, empathy begins with a caring adult. Understanding the nature of empathy is the first step in making a difference in the life of a child.

 

 

Watch Mary Gordon on TEDTalkxGabriola Island: The Yellow Brick Road to Empathy as she discusses emotional literacy and its crucial place in raising a generation.

 

Children need grown-ups who will take the time to listen. Watch the slideshare after watching Mary Gordon's TEDTalk.