Tried-and-True Resources to Teach Teens About Empathy
One of the most important things you can do for your teen is to teach them how to be empathetic. There are many tried-and-true resources to help you do just that. Here are a few:
1. Teach them about empathy through stories. Share a story about a time when you felt empathy for someone else and ask your teen to tell you a story about a time when they felt empathy for someone else. This way, they can learn what empathy feels like and how it can be used.
2. Guide them through exercises. One exercise you can do is to have your teen choose one person in their life who they feel is struggling and write a letter to them. Ask them to include how they feel about the person and what they would say if they had a conversation with them. This will help them learn more about how to be empathetic and understand other people’s perspectives.
3. Teach them about the concept of “compassion fatigue.” This is a term that describes the phenomenon where people become used to feeling empathy for others and start to lose the ability to feel it. You can help your teen understand compassion fatigue by having them do exercises that challenge their empathy. For example, have them write down five things that make them happy and five things that make them angry. After doing this, ask them to think about how they would feel if they were in the shoes of someone who is struggling. This will help them learn to be more compassionate and less judgmental.
Teaching your teen how to be empathetic is one of the most important things you can do for them. By using these tried-and-true resources, you can help them to develop the skills they need to be understanding and supportive of friends and family members.