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Empathy 101

Parents, it’s ten o’clock! Have your kids had their dose of empathy yet? Betcha they have! Here are 19 ways that you can guarantee your children have experienced empathy from you. Check off the items you have done and keep up the good work every day!

  1. I said, “good morning” to my children.

  2. I hugged and kissed my children at appropriate times.

  3. I made sure my children had the right clothes for school.

  4. I made breakfast for my children.

  5. I made school lunches or made sure my children had enough money in their accounts.

  6. I signed all things I was to sign to allow my children full participation in school activities.

  7. I made sure my children had a safe place to be after school.

  8. I taught my children to stay with me in public places (i.e. the grocery store, parks, the fairgrounds, the local zoo, museums, parking lots, etc.).

  9. I followed a request for something with “please.”

  10. I said, “thank you” when I received something from one of my children or when someone complimented me in front of them.

  11. I have taught or reinforced at least one social skill (i.e. table manners, problem resolution, helping someone or making someone feel better).

  12. I established consistency in the means for my children to get to and from home, school or daycare.

  13. I checked over my children’s academic planners and folders for important information and to see how they are doing in school.

  14. I praised good work and tried to help where I could in work that came up short.

  15. I cooked a balanced, nutritional supper for my children or took them out for a good dinner.

  16. I got my children to talk about their day.

  17. I got my children to the extracurricular activities of their interest on time.

  18. I gave my children baths and taught them skills in hygiene.

  19. I provided a consistent bedtime routine.

With just these 19 items, you have shown your children that you value them. You have placed an importance in their health, safety and general well being. You have shown them that they are important and worthy of your attention. Once they have the confidence of being worthy at home, it will exude into their social and academic life outside the home.

So if you ever wonder if you are teaching empathy to your children, use the checklist above. If you can check all 19 off every day, you are doing a great job. There are plenty of other ways to teach or model empathy as well, but I believe these 19 are essential basics. Breathe well, my parental friends. It’s all in a day’s work! Yeah!

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