Monday, April 16, 2012

make a difference monday: empathy

I am excited to take part in a monthly series at friend, and fellow author, Maria Dismondy's blog.  The purpose of this monthly series is to highlight specific key character traits and give resources to help instill these traits in our little hearts.  As the title of this post indicates, this month's characteristic is that of empathy.   In my personal observation, it seems that some children are just 'hardwired' to understand how others might be feeling or thinking.  I definitely know kids that are much more sensitive to others and can more easily empathize with their friends.  However, overall in the me-centric minds of young children, feeling empathy can be difficult.  So how to develop empathy in your little heart?

Recently I was reading an article in Parenting magazine when I came across the following quote by parenting expert Michele Borba, Ed.D "Kids as young as three can learn empathy, tolerance and respect by helping the disabled".  What an awesome idea and one that is right in line with my mission at the little hearts project.  Obviously helping the disabled is just one avenue to explore to help children understand how others are feeling, but one that I think particularly impactful. 

There are many organizations that support children with disabilities - Special Olympics comes immediately to mind - but even something as simple as befriending a child with special needs would make a huge impression.  Doing so would help them to understand the joys or frustrations that their new friend might feel because of their abilities.  So considering helping your little heart to serve someone who is disabled.  This exposure is sure to be a wonderful start in developing empathy in your little heart.


PragmaticMom said...

I really love Dr. Micelle Borba. She gives really dead on advice. This is my first Linky party and it's nice to meet you!

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