Unfortunately, we live in a world where bullies exist online as well as on the playground. Because of this, you definitely want to do your part as a parent to make sure you are raising kids who are compassionate and caring in hopes that it will rub off on everyone else. But when they are young, and they are developing their vocabulary and social skills, it can be difficult to know if your hard work is paying off. But don't worry, there are clues you're raising an especially empathetic kid that you can spot early on and make sure that your kid is on the right track.
In an article for The Huffington Post, psychiatrist David Sack wrote that signs of empathy can be seen in children in infancy, as they will get fussy at the sound of another baby's cry. But the ability to show compassion for others is a skill that needs to be developed over time, and it's up to parents to encourage and model empathy in our own behavior.
If you notice any of the behaviors on this list in your kids, you can breathe a sigh of relief, and know that you are helping to make the world just a little bit nicer.
1. They Care For Their Friends
According to Scholastic, one early sign of empathy in children is the ability to care about the feelings of others.
2. They Put Themselves In Other's Shoes
As mentioned in Parents, an empathetic kid has the ability to put themselves in another person's shoes and understand how their actions can affect other people.
3. They Say 'Thank You'
Your empathetic child will often show their appreciation for the things others do by saying "thank you," according to The Guardian.
4. They Want To Cheer You Up
According to Parents, a toddler can show empathy by noticing that you are sad and offering you his favorite toy. Though you may not need a toy, they are aware of your feelings and want to cheer you up in a way that works for them.
5. They Want To Include Others
If a child on the playground appears to be lonely or sad, an empathetic kid will most likely want to include that child in her play. After the age of five, most children begin to develop genuine concern for how others are treated, as mentioned on Baby Center.
6. They Like To Play Pretend
According to The Urban Child Institute, empathetic children tend to engage in more pretend social play. They are more in tune with social rules and interested in engaging with others.
7. They Love Animals
An empathetic child may be more affectionate towards animals and concerned with caring for other living things, as mentioned on PBS' website.
8. They Want To Help
Whether setting the table or doing homework with a younger sibling, an empathetic kid will be more than happy to pitch in and help out, according to PBS.
9. They Are Extremely Moody
Author and empathic life coach, Jennifer Soldner notes that a sign of empathy in children can be extreme moodiness.