Vyshakha Chikkanagoudar, a psychologist at the Asara Centre for Psychological Wellness, Bangalore, suggests five ways and means to teach children the virtues of empathy and compassion:
• Model the art and etiquette of accepting and giving compliments.
• Use informal discussions, dinner-time conversations to help children learn how to accept other people’s opinions and judgements.
• Use the five magic phrases: Please, Thank You, You are welcome, I’m sorry, Excuse me please in daily interactions and transactions at home.
• Create a caring climate at home by demonstrating empathy and compassion in transactions with family members and friends.
• Children with responsibilities tend to be more empathetic and caring. Give your child specified tasks. For instance, allow her to care for the family or a friend’s pet. Teach her to help with household chores. When children are taught responsibility, they learn to care about others.