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Teaching Accountability and Empathy

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Empathy is learned through RECEIVING empathy, and being surrounded by people who MODEL empathy, not thru being instructed to say "I'm sorry".

Here's how to guide a child when something they have done is hurtful to someone else.

1. Connect with them about the feelings that drove their behavioral choice

2. Model empathy for the person who was impacted by their actions

3. Collaborate with them to brainstorm repair and help them execute that repair

Rinse and Repeat. Hundreds of times.

The ability to be accountable for our actions and empathetic to the people who were negatively impacted is a highly complex emotional skill that takes time to learn. How many grown ups do you know that do it well? Most people were told to "say sorry" without any training on the complex process truly involved in taking accountability and making repairs.


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