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Empathy

Kids running out on school playground

Disrupting Bias Is About Practicing Skills, Not Just Growing Awareness

“How do you think you might respond if this happened at school?” I asked my youngest. We were reading the part of the book Jacob’s New Dress where Jacob’s classmates tease him about what he wears to school. To be honest, I was kind of excited to hear my child’s response. I imagined him to…  Read More

Child laying on bed reading a book to another child

Dear Artists and Authors, Thank You For Helping Kids Cope With COVID

I walked into my kids’ room last week looking for my youngest. My oldest was curled up in bed. “Are you alone in here?” I asked.  “No,” he answered. “I’m reading.”  It took me a second to realize his answer didn’t mean that both of my kids were snuggled under the blankets. Instead, his answer…  Read More

White parents talking to their children about race

White Parents – Talk With Kids About Race and Racism

“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

Looking down on two different color shoes to symbolize empathy, standing in someone else's shoes

Empathy and Teens: Raising Kids Who Care

“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

Children experiencing empathy for each other

How do children develop empathy?

“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

Person holding a heart over their chest to symbolize empathy

Teaching Empathy to Kids Starts With Us

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

Illustrations of emotions emerging from brain

Why Your Child or Teen Needs An Emotion Coach

And Why You Are the Person for the Job

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

10 Ways to Teach Your Child Gratitude – Plus Tips for Teens

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