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Cultivating Empathy in Your Child

Posted by Karla Belzer - Parenting

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Parents have many resources when it comes to developing, growing, nurturing, and cultivating empathy in their children. Empathy is the foundation for developing good relationships, for loving well, and for personal and professional success. Starting from a young age, there are many things parents can do help their children develop empathy.

For young children, books and stories are particularly helpful in identifying feelings, an important factor in developing empathy in children. Some suggestions:

I Am Happy: A Touch and Feel Book of Feelings by Steve Light

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

How Are You Feeling by Saxton Freymann and Joost Eiffers

Feelings by Aliki

The Feelings Book by Todd Parr

Baby Happy, Baby Sad by Leslie Patricelli

Baby Faces by DK Publishing

When I am/Cuando Estoy by Gladys Rosa-Mendoza

Check out these resources for specific activities and ideas for empathy development:

Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families

The University of Alabama Parenting Assistance Line

Scholastic Books: Ages and Stages - Empathy

Education Development Center- Empathy Activities

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