Children who can empathize are generally happier and more successful. Here's what Harvard psychologists have to say.
The progress and modern inventions are paving way for countless new things to fill our lives in a very short time. There is a constant, rapid change in lifestyle and trends evolve and become almost unrecognizable at a break-neck speed. Since our collective attitudes, habits, behaviors, and perceptions keep changing with these realities so much, people from a slightly older generation feel a sudden disconnect from the tech-savvy younger generation.
This also brings whole new sets of challenges for the parents. They have to adapt to new things faster and way quicker than they are comfortable with. At the same time, they also need to worry about their child's growth in the right direction. Not to mention that raising children in this age of digital distractions have become quite difficult and a teensy bit terrifying than ever before.
In the light of the given circumstances, more significance is also put on providing your children with the proper exposure - one which enables them to develop in a wholesome manner, and also equip them to bond and communicate with appropriate openness and freedom.
When children can empathize with others, they’re likely to be happier. They’ll have better relationships their entire lives, and strong relationships are a key ingredient of happiness. In today's workplace, success often depends on collaborating effectively with others, and children who are empathic and socially aware are better at this.
Most of the parents keep worrying asking the same questions: Am I missing anything? Is this way of raising my kid the right one? Will my child succeed in life?
These questions have also been thought about by some of the psychologists at Harvard University. They have found that there are more than a few elements that come into play, which bear a lot of importance to a kid's childhood. And they are saying that the key to raising a adjusting child in these changing times is not as tough as it seems at first glance.
It is more important to be with your child, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Listen to their ideas, allow them to communicate their thoughts and set a dynamic that allows exchanging of views. When you are present with them, doing the things that they like and also being there for them, they'll understand empathy, and how to be considerate and care for somebody. Positive experiences in childhood can go a long way to make them feel confident. Encourage them to talk about their own perception of the world and talk about what they feel.
Children learn from their surroundings, and especially at a very young age. The kind of behavior you show is what they become as well. Therefore, pay attention to the kind of manners you exhibit and the kind of actions. Also, make sure you are ready to own up to your mistakes. Show your child that you care. The way this works is that the kind of effects you want to see in your child comes from the effort you put in your own self. Care for yourself, show empathy, honesty, and fairness.
Social awareness is a very important aspect of life that your child needs to be exposed to. They need to learn how to judge a social situation and bond with people the right way. They need to learn when to exercise their care, and when they should recognize the benefits of being occasionally selfish. But teach them to do the right thing no matter how hard that path may be. Justify what you say to them in actions - keeping promises, honoring commitments, and caring for those around you.
A child needs to be able to recognize and acknowledge the role other people play in their life in a healthy manner. And this behavior comes from a regular practice of appreciating what people contribute to their well-being and life. Also, show them how enriching the act of expressing gratitude it is for them and positive it is for the other person. That being said, it is also healthy to let them understand that gratitude is a two-way street. Thank your children and appreciate them when they do something nice for you, but don't thank them for the things they are supposed to do - so praise the uncommon acts of kindness.
Most of the children are naturally more empathetic towards their family and friends. They are more likely to care about people who are familiar to them. That is all well, but they also need to be able to think about the people outside of that circle. The larger circle can include those who don't speak your language, people in other states, people in other countries - they need to know that their actions can impact other spaces and communities.
Childhood is the time when most of your child's personality is given its roots. The richer the experiences, the higher their ability to adapt to new things and information. Since foundations determine a lot of the stuff that gets assimilated in the future, the more open and holistic a foundation you provide your child, the greater will be their chances of successfully mastering their reality.