• Cultivating Kindness and Empathy in Children

  • Being personally kind and empathetic in life is an invaluable characteristic. It can create lasting relationships and a great sense of well-being. At Aspire Charter Academy, we believe fostering kindness and empathy in children is important. When a child is empathetically oriented, they create special friendships and learn with a better mindset. Compassion is a terrific trait to have as children grow into teenagers and young adults. Children can inspire one another to be good examples in this area and create an atmosphere of kindness instead of bullying.

    Cultivating kindness and empathy in your children isn’t easy and can be very difficult at times. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Once your children harness a kind attitude, they will treat others better and, in turn, feel better about themselves. Here are four tips for cultivating empathy and kindness in your children:


    1. Discuss what happened after any conflicts.


    After your child argues with a sibling, student, or friend, talk with your child about the recent conflict. Ask questions about what they might be feeling and what the child they were arguing with might be feeling. Help your child identify possible reasons why the other child may be feeling a certain way; have him or her step inside their shoes. Calmly discuss how things could have been done differently to handle the situation in a way that considers the perspectives of all involved. Once all the details are discovered, encourage your child to apologize, if necessary, and tell them the other child may apologize too.


    1. Speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.


    Another strategy for fostering empathy and kindness in your children is teaching them to be a friend and stand up for the less vocal children. For example, if there is new kid at school or a shy kid, tell your child to approach them to talk and play with them. This gesture gives the less vocal kid an opportunity to make a new friend and cultivates a level of compassion in your child. Taking your children to volunteer helping others less fortunate than them also helps foster empathy.


    1. Help your child manage emotions.


    If your child gets overly discouraged or angry over things easily, he or she may take those feelings out on others. Simply sit down with your child and discuss their emotions. Identify coping strategies to help control excessive emotion. Coping could include removing themselves temporarily, breathing exercises, listening to music, playing a game, or drawing and coloring. Also, help them recognize other people’s emotions. By teaching them to distinguish when someone is happy or sad, they develop skills in empathy. Do this tactic by giving them examples of when they feel a certain way, which helps them identify emotions in others.


    1. Recognize kindness when it happens.


    Recognizing and rewarding kindness and empathy expresses to your child that those characteristics are good things. It can be as simple as a smile or hug, or you can reward them with a special treat. Hearing a trusted adult speak words of praise and encouragement about them inspires children and creates confidence to continue their kindness and empathy. This strategy reinforces the qualities of compassion.

    At Aspire Charter Academy, we believe a benevolent atmosphere is one that cultivates kindness and empathy, along with appropriate learning skills for young minds. Our goal is to uplift children’s spirits, so they have the necessary resources and mindset to effectively learn. We want our students to reach their full potential.