The First Step To Developing Empathy

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One of the most common questions I get asked about the level of emotional responsiveness and support I recommend parents to give to their children is:

"Won't that teach them that the world revolves around them?"

And while I understand the logic, it is not applicable in the context of attachment and child development. 

The ways we relate to our children in their tender moments become relational templates they use in response to others. 

Children who are given empathy when they are in emotional pain, learn about their emotions and develop the capacity to connect their body sensations to an understanding of what those sensations mean and what to do in response. 

Then they can relate when other people are feeling and needing things and know how to offer care and empathy because it has been offered to them. 

It increases empathy and resilience. Cool huh? You can be gentle and emotionally attentive with your kid and trust that your kindness is creating empathy skills and not a pattern of toxic self focus.


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