Why teaching empathy is important

Why teaching empathy is important

“Empathy is the antidote to shame” – Brene Brown


Empathy. It’s one of the strongest qualities an individual can have but one that has often been reflected as a weakness. Empathy is an emotion that gives us the ability to feel emotion for others; to experience someone else’s feelings. It is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s situation and be able to share their feelings.

There has been significant research conducted on the benefits of empathy and how it can bolster a child’s overall development and mental well-being when taught from a young age, especially in the classroom. Research shows us that empathy plays an extensive role in our social and emotional learning (SEL). At its core, when empathy is taught to our children, it helps them develop strong relationships with their peers and educators by encouraging tolerance and acceptance of others, therefore, helping children find the social aspect of school much easier to navigate leaving room to focus on the tasks at hand.

With empathy coincides courage and kindness. We know bullying is a core issue in the classroom and on the playground, and research shows us that children who have a strong sense of empathy are more likely to stand up for another to a bully rather than for themselves. The effect of this? It makes a child who is feeling targeted themselves or who is quite isolated feel more confident and courageous within themselves.

Bottom line, empathy is the grain of our relationships and how we see and move in the world. By helping your child foster a high level of empathy they are more likely to adapt to a deeper way of thinking which not only assists them in the classroom and with their endeavours but is key to a successful life.