What is Empathy?
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes or when you’re able to understand and feel another’s feelings. Such as when a student is feeling sad because they are having a difficult day and someone else feels what they are going through. They may gently ask them if they are ok or if they’d like to talk about what is troubling them. Thus, putting themselves in their shoes. Sometimes people will think that empathy and sympathy are the same. You have compassion for that person but may not necessarily feel their feelings or be empathic toward them.
Empathy is developed as children grow and are shown empathy by their parents and later from other people around, such as their babysitter, their grandparents, their brothers and sisters and their teachers.
A parent may help their children develop empathy by doing the following:
Ann Richards, School Psychologist
Valerie Elwood, School Counselor