Parenting - 2 Childhood Dilemmas for Teaching Kids Empathy
Childhood dilemmas help your kids think more deeply about choices. They can teach empathy too.
In this post, Carter is a math whiz. But he didn't study for his test and he couldn't remember how to solve some problems. He secretly pulled out his calculator and cheated.
Ask your child questions like:
1. Can you understand Carter's feelings? Please explain.
2. What thoughts might have helped Carter to avoid cheating?
3. Can you explain Carter's dilemma?
4. What advice would you give Carter? Why?
5. Have you ever faced a difficult dilemma where you had to make a quick choice?
6. Would you like to discuss it?
Having empathy for someone doesn't mean you agree with their behavior. Empathy can soften harsh judgments and can help the person deal with what they've done.
Meredith wanted to see an R rated movie, but her mother disapproved. Meredith's friends were going. So Mededith decided to take her mom's money from the cookie jar and sneak off with her friends. Her mother nabbed her in the act.
Ask your child:
1. Can you understand Meredith's feelings about seeing the movie with her friends?
2. How many solutions can you think of to help Meredith avoid stealing?
3. If Meredith's mom hadn't caught her, how might she have felt about taking the money?
4. What advice would you give Meredith?
5. Have you ever felt a strong desire to do something, but your parents disapproved?
6. If yes, can you talk about it?
Understanding others' problems can help your child forgive others when they've been wronged, enjoy a kinder heart, and accept herself when she makes her own errors in judgment.
When you chat with your child about childhood dilemmas, you teach character, understanding, and empathy for others.
When kids think through specific dilemmas, it helps them with decisions and choices because a similar problem may occur in their near future. Since they've already considered it in detail, they'll know better which choice to make.
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