Empathy Builders in Grade 1

In grade 1 guidance classes, we have started working on a new unit! We recently started our empathy builders unit. In empathy builders, we learn about how we can show empathy to others!

We learn about the 3 steps to empathy!

1. Look at the person. How are they feeling? Why are they feeling this way?
By looking at the person's face and body, you can often tell how they are feeling. When you start to think about how others may be feeling and why, you are taking the first step to building empathy! 
2. Listen to the person. How does their voice sound?
Listening to the person's voice can help you understand what they might be feeling too! If their voice sounds harsh- maybe they are angry. If their voice is quiet- they could be feeling sad or shy. 
3. Think. What can you do to help? 
We need to be problem-solvers! Sometimes it may be helpful to talk to the person about how they are feeling, other times it is best to walk away or give them time to cool off. We talk about many different things we can do to help others and try to understand how they are feeling. 

What can parents do to help build empathy? Building empathy is an important and valuable life skill. As a parent, you can work on building empathy with your child. Here are some things to try!
Ask 'thinking questions' like: 1. How does that person feel? 
2. Why do you think they feel that way? 
3. Have you ever felt that way before? 
4. What helped you feel better? 
5. What do you think could help them? 
Listen to a variety of music: Music can express many different feelings, thoughts, and ideas. By exposing your child to a variety of different music, you can encourage them to reflect on how different types of music makes them feel. You can also ask questions like, 'How is the singer feeling and why?' 
Expose your child to a variety of cultures and viewpoints: By exposing your child to different types of people, you are showing them that there are many different view points and life experiences. It is healthy for children to see others that are different or unique from them. Encourage them to reflect on their experiences with you!


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