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Jun 15, 2022

Young children are naturally egocentric. This is a normal part of their development, as they must first make sense of the world around them through their own eyes, before they can see it through someone else’s. In fact, until they approach preschool age, they have little reason to believe that others might have feelings or thoughts different from their own. But getting them to eventually understand that everyone’s got their own perspective, is how we teach kindness.


Empathy — the ability to imagine how others might be feeling — is a cornerstone of kindness, and Jessica Rolph, your host, is joined by  Monica Guthrie-Purchase to help us support our children in building that skill. Monica is a Start Early Education Coordinator. She is also the mother of two adult sons and grandmother to one granddaughter.


Key Takeaways:

[2:01] What is the first step to building kindness?

[2:45] How can parents model empathy?

[5:10] When do children start showing that they have empathy? 

[6:43] How can parents help their children build perspective?

[9:34] The benefits of teaching your child that a person isn’t bad, only their behavior.

[11:18] Should parents encourage their child to make an apology? 

[14:24] Monica shares some practical activities to teach empathy.

[16:28] How can books help children build kindness and empathy?

[17:23] Thinking of others can become part of the daily routine at home.

[20:46] Jessica shares her top takeaways from the conversation with Monica Guthrie-Purchase.


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Kindness Starts With You, Jacquelyn Stagg