How often have you heard or even said “put yourself in their shoes”. This ability to understand and share the feelings of another is empathy and an important trait to teach children. It keeps us all connected and makes us better people. We are not born with empathy but rather must learn it. This can be taught in many ways such as role modeling it. Another way is to read books that can spark conversation about what it means to be empathetic. One of my favorites which I used with my two children is Hey Little Ant by Phillip & Hannah Hoose. A boy is going to step on an ant when the ant asks him for mercy. The conversation that follows gave my children lots of “food for thought” and best of all the author did not give the story an ending but left it with the question…what would you do?
Here are a few books that can help you have this conversation with your children: