It’s not all about ME! Why Empathy Matters
What do you envision as the foundation of your school culture? your family culture?
Is it all about me and what I want?
Making the best grades.
Having the most friends.
Winning, Scoring, Getting to the head of the line…
I doubt that is what you envisioned, but maybe you feel you are fighting a losing battle.
What if empathy were the foundation that we built our culture on?
How might our interactions be different?
Empathy can be taught at any age, it is much like a muscle that needs to be developed. Even young children can develop a caring attitude toward others. There are three main types of empathy:
Affective empathy where we share another’s feelings
Behavioral empathy where we take action with compassion
Cognitive empathy where we understand another’s thought and feelings as though we were walking in their shoes
More than ever we need to focus on developing this key characteristic in our young children. Here’s why…
Why empathy matters:
1. Empathy builds a positive social culture.
Empathy encourages a better understanding of diversity and consequently encourages friendship and cooperation across ethnic and ability groups. It teaches tolerance and acceptance.
2. Empathy strengthens community.
Empathy encourages more than just understanding. It empowers children to take action that makes a difference in someone’s life. Students with empathy are willing to offer a helping hand to others. They become active participants not just bystanders in the community.
3. Empathy makes students become leaders in their own lives.
Having empathy for others also translates into tolerance, patience and empathy in children’s personal lives. Recognizing that we are all uniquely gifted and uniquely challenged often gives children permission to accept challenges and failure in their own lives with a positive and persistent attitude.
Ready Made School Counselor Lesson
on Empathy and Cooperation
Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Cooperation
Wyatt wants to play Frisbee. Max want to build a fort and Callie wants to have tea party. How do the three friends reconcile their differences? Can it be done? When Wyatt doesn’t get his way, Max’s mother suggests he be the Superhero for the day. Join Wyatt as he learns how the magic of cooperation and compromise can bring the five friends closer together.
Feeling left out? Need help getting along with friends? Wyatt the Wonder Dog books weave important life skills into engaging story telling. Join Wyatt as he learns how to be the superhero in his group of friends by using cooperation and compromise.
~MaryFrances Gonzalez MACCC-SLP
More school counselor lesson plans on empathy: