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We can’t just hand kids a book or download a podcast titled, “Get Empathy.” Nope. But well crafted stories do allow kids to get lost in characters whose lives both mirror and diverge from their own.
“Whoever tells the stories, defines the culture.” My oldest son and his friends have been watching a lot of The Who Was? Show on Netflix. The series explores the lives of famous people from history. Before dinner recently he excitedly listed all the people he had learned about. After reciting the names he made this… Read More →
“I’d like you to close your eyes,” I often say at workshops that I facilitate across the country. “Now visualize the kind of adults you hope your children become.” I add that I am not interested in them conjuring up logistical visions, for example, where they hope their children go to school or the kind… Read More →
“My 3-year-old doesn’t seem very empathetic – does this mean something is wrong?” or “Someone told me that kids can’t “do” empathy until age 9. Is that true?” These are examples of the types of questions parents often send us. There is a good reason for confusion around the topic of empathy. While it is… Read More →
Researchers at Harvard’s Making Caring Common project released a report this past fall that holds up an uncomfortable mirror for us parents about teaching empathy to kids. The team surveyed youth and asked them to rank by importance achieving at a high level, feeling good, or helping others. Nearly 80% of youth ranked achievement and… Read More →
A growing body of research is piling up that begs us to question the firm line we’ve drawn between the playground and the classroom.
At a recent workshop on emotion coaching I asked parents to share something about their children that they were really proud of – not in terms of accomplishments, but in terms of behaviors they have been working on. This distinction is important. You no doubt feel proud if your child makes the honor roll or… Read More →
I just wrote a post about the science behind gratitude. It turns out that far from being a nice afterthought, gratitude is central to our kids’ health and happiness. But you can’t just tell your child to be grateful. Gratitude practices are nurtured over time. Ten ways to start teaching your child gratitude: Start a… Read More →
“I’m grateful for Goldy Gopher!” My then three-year-old nephew Ellis exclaimed proudly. “Me too!” His cousin Lucila followed. “Ack!” Shrieked Fiona with an enormous grin, not even one year old. My son Miles responded by dropping some peas on the floor. Welcome to the family tradition we call “Big Circle.” Circling Up My parents have… Read More →
Now that we understand the impact of bullying on young people, what do we do about it? Too often when we talk about taking action we focus only on the bully and the victim. But bullying doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Bullying takes place in a social context and bystanders can either help stop bullying… Read More →