You can help your child develop and practice empathy. Teach him to:
• Consider the needs of others. Tell your child, “It’s great that your friends save you a seat at lunch every day. But what about Tom? What do you think it’s like for him, sitting by himself? Do you think he should be included?”
• Be aware of body language. Teach your child to look at someone’s posture. Is he standing tall with pride, or slumped over with sadness or shame? What about the other person’s facial expression? Does he look comfortable, or would he rather be somewhere else?
• Respond appropriately. He can return a smile with a smile. He can listen if the other person wants to talk, or he can suggest an activity to take the person’s mind off his worries. For example, your child could say, “Let’s get out of here and go for a run around the track.”
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