How to Raise a Sympathetic Child

Children learn to share and show concern from an early age. Parents and teachers might often wonder how to teach children caring toward others – more so when the world feels full of disagreement, conflict, and aggression. As development psychologists, we know that children start to pay attention to the emotions of others from an early age. They actively take into account others’ emotions when making decisions about how to respond to them. Does this mean that children feel sympathy for others from an early age? And is there a way in which parents can teach their children to be sympathetic? The ability to feel concern for others is one of the key characteristics that make us human. Sympathy binds individuals together and increases cooperation among the members of the society. So, one of the things that we can do to facilitate sympathy in young children according to developmental research is to use what is called “inductive reasoning”. Inductive reasoning implies that parents and teachers emphasize the consequences of a child’s behavior during a social interaction.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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