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  1. Lovely post. I try to do the same when we’re reading too by asking how the kids think the characters must be feeling and whether other characters are being nice or not. Hmm, books can be a bit black and white. It’s clearly fine to splat someone if they’re the baddy. haha. (P.S I have no idea what District 12 is…I think you need to add a photo of you doing it to explain!)

  2. These are excellent tips, and yes, we also love the idea you have of discussing real life situations with your little ones as they happen. The same idea can apply to videos (movies, TV shows) and books. Of course it helps to start with big-hearted stories that deal with discussion worthy topics such as diversity, gratitude, and citizenship. We offer recommendations for both picture books and chapter books on our website.

  3. What a great real-world idea, thank you Kelly. If we all adopt this approach, the world can’t help but be better for it. Happy new year!

  4. My dad told me that my greatest weakness was too much empathy… I unfortunately agree with that. Empathy is a great thing but I see where it has worked against me at the same time… I try and instill this in my boys as well. My 8 year old and I were watching a movie, which brought me to tears, he looked at me also in tears and hugged me with the strength that no 8 year old should have. I was so proud of him for feeling that way, I think I cried even more…

    1. Christina Anzaldua says:

      That’s really a special moment when you see empathy in your boy I think. I love that. I learned a very valuable lesson one day with my 12 year old son. I had also been working on this empathy stuff for some time with both of my boys. Always zoning in on my boys if they spoke loosely about a person. “You don’t know that person, don’t talk about them when you don’t know why they are like that or why they act the way they do.”, I would say many times. One day a woman who looked really rough like she had just got out of prison somehow ended up playing basketball with my son as I had been looking away. When I saw her at first I was kind of alarmed. I told him immediately that it was time to go. He ran up to me and asked, Mom? Can I give that woman my basket ball? I looked over with skepticism but noticed a very sweet little girl with her I had overlooked. My son implored with his eyes a look I never want to forget! Empathy…..My heart hurts even tonight even as I remember the taste of disdainfullness in my attitude that day. That lady was so grateful to be blessed by his thoughtfulness that day. I was torn between being proud of my sob and my heart being smote as hot tears stung my eyes.

      1. Christina Anzaldua says:

        * son, Not SOB! LOL!!!

  5. These are great suggestions! It’s really important to me that my kids are empathetic and kind. I love how practical and simple these steps are. PS I am so sorry to hear from your email that you have not received empathy when sharing details of your Cesarean births. I’m a natural birth advocate, but I always want to be careful and respectful of others’ experiences and choices. So that was a good reminder for me.

  6. My kids have the Roots of Emathy program in their school (we live in Canada). It’s a great program, and it’s purpose has served as a good reminder for us grownups too!

  7. Just a point of information for anyone who is curious the classroom program is called roots of empathy. It is really quite amazing to see how attached the class gets to the baby over a year and to see the growth in their empathy as well.

  8. Claudette says:

    A 2 1/2 year old came into the room I care for children in, he had been out for a couple months. He started crying. The 9 month old, kept watching him, (she loves him!), she smiled at his return, then slowly she started crying too. She was crying for him, I cuddled both until they stopped, she kept looking at him for a sign, when he was done so was she.
    I love taking care of children and watching them learn!