Parenting - 2 Childhood Dilemmas for Teaching Kids Empathy

Boy Cheating
 
Teaching Empathy Through Dilemmas
       Can Be Done

 

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.

 

IStock_000009721676XSmall.jpg.girl.stealing.cookies
 
Understanding Others Is a Form of Empathy.
 

 

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. 

Father and Son 700
 
Kids Love to Share Their Thoughts with Parents Who
Listen.

 

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.

 

Articles with Similar Helpful Content

Social Conscience: How to Use Moral Dilemmas Effectively with Kids

 

How Parents Build Character with Fun Moral Dilemmas

 

 

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How Parents Teach Children Empathy - 7 Steps

Empathy Critical 900
 
Empathy CAN Be Taught

PARENTS CAN TEACH CHILDREN EMPATHY WITH SIMPLE DISCUSSIONS. Today you and your child will find a childhood behavior to discuss, what mindsets to avoid, and 7 easy steps for teaching empathy.  Use it to help your child grow into a caring person who understands others.

Ask your youngster to analyze this situation by asking, “What don’t we know?”

Sarah gave her friend, Jane, a friendly punch. Jane yelled, “Stop it!” and hit Sarah hard.

Ask your child, "What don't we know?"

Hopefully, she answered, “We don’t know why Jane hit Sarah back so hard.”

Many kids might judge Jane and call her names. But that would put Jane on the defensive and make her mad because no one wants to be judged harshly.

Rather than being a critical judge, ask your child to think of some positive reasons why Jane may have hit Sarah. Why positive?

Usually, when someone does something, even if it’s negative,  it’s for a positive reason. We call it the ‘positive intent.’ This is because the doer, (Jane) is getting something positive out of her behavior.

Yelling girls
 
What Positive Reasons Do Kids Have for Acting Badly?

 

Here are some sample reasons:

  1. Maybe Sarah told her class a big secret about Jane's family and Jane found out. Now Jane’s breaking off the friendship.

 

  1. Maybe Sarah has given Jane too many friendly punches that have bruised her in the past. Now Jane’s showing her what it feels like to stop Sarah from punching her again.

 

  1. Maybe Jane was ridiculed by her class for a wrong answer and she thought Sarah’s friendly punch was intended to tease her for it. Jane’s hitting tells Sarah her teasing isn’t funny.

 

Who knows why Jane reacted the way she did? We’re not mind readers. Only Jane really knows. 

But stepping into Jane’s shoes and trying to see the situation from her point of view, your child is on the path to understanding and empathy.

Tell your child, “It’s hard to feel empathy for Jane or anyone else if you’re judging with a mean critical mind.”

Bigstock_Family_Problems_183002
 
Your Child CAN Switch Her Critical Judgments  to
Understanding Thoughts

 

Rather than judge, teach your child to:

  1. Switch your critical thoughts to exploring positive reasons why she did what she did.
  2. Avoid calling names or making accusations.
  3. Ask don't tell. "Why did you...? rather than, "You did it because..."
  4. Listen without judgment.
  5. Try to see her point of view.
  6. Show empathy with understanding comments like, "I can see why you felt that way."
  7. Suggest she apologize, if appropriate.

If you do, she just might follow your suggestion. All because you asked, listened and cared.

Another important point, when someone acts poorly and you understand why they did it, doesn't mean you agree with their negative behavior. It does mean you chose to understand it.

Use these steps, whenever your child tells you about another child’s negative behaviors. Your discussions will be interesting, and you’ll be teaching her to be an empathic person with an understanding character.

Watch this 2 minute video with 5 questions to help your child turn from criticism to empathy.

How Parents Teach Empathy to Kids


 

The Transcript with the 5 Questions is beneath the video at YouTube when you click Show More. 

Bonus Articles with Videos:

7 Ways to Encourage Positive Brain Power in Your Child   

The Positive Child - 18 Top Parenting Tips and Tools 

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Open-Minded Kids – How Parents Promote Skilled Thinkers

Thinking Jeans Girl 900          
           How Sophie Became an Open-Minded Thinker

OPEN-MINDED KIDS ARE SKILLED THINKERS. They learn to see more than one side of issues, problems, and discussions. They think bigger than one-sided kids.

How Sophie Opened Her Mind

I spoke with a 4th grade girl, named Sophie, (Identity concealed) who told me how she changed her mind. Her teacher asked, “Should school be year-round?” Sophie said a loud, “No!”

But the teacher told the class to study both sides. Sophie did her research. This is what she found that could happen if school was year-round:

  1. The school day would be shorter.
  2. There would be more but shorter vacations.
  3. There would be fun after-school programs.
  4. Daycare wouldn’t cost parents so much because of the after-school programs. The 3-month summer vacation would be eliminated so no need for daycare then either.
  5. Teachers wouldn’t need to waste time reviewing what the children forgot due to the summer vacations.

Sophie opened her mind to these new ideas. She decided “Yes,” school should be year-round.

Sophie had an open-minded teacher who asked open-minded questions. She taught kids to see issues from both sides. Each child was free to come up with their own conclusions.

The Difference between Open Minds and Closed Minds

Spoiled Michael
 
Close-Minded Thinkers Won't Listen to New Ideas

 

Open-minded children don’t try to win arguments. They avoid stubbornly sticking to their own viewpoint. They are willing to change their opinions with new information.

Closed-minded kids won’t listen to others’ ideas. They believe they already know what’s best.

How Parents Raise Kids with Open-Minded Discussions

 

Family Discussion SMALL
 
Sample Question: Should  Parents Make Kids Try
New Foods?

 

Be the parent who uses discussions to open your kids’ minds. Discuss topics that interest them. Get them to consider both the side they favor and the one they disagree with. When they have enough information, ask them what they favor  now and why. If you do, they'll become BIGGER thinkers.

For more parenting strategies and stories to raise your children's consciousness, read full article at: 

 9 Ways Parents Raise Open-Minded Kids

 

Talk Mom and Son 900
 
Be Sure to Praise Your Open-Minded Child

 

Popular Posts with Similar Topics:

Parenting: 2 Strategies for Raising Kids with Optimistic Characters

Parenting: Turning Fearful Kids into Confident Children

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Bully-Prevention: 10 Bully Slogans for Children

Bully Sign
 
  My friends won't include
 mean kids who are rude.
 


PARENTS, TEACH KIDS POSITIVE MOTTOES to repeat over and over and give your children a lifetime gift. How? Because when kids recite upbeat thoughts with repetition, those thoughts will likely come to mind when needed. Echoing good thoughts strengthens the brain paths on which they travel.

Powerful positive rhymes also reinforce those brainwaves. They are like the songs that stick in our heads. They are pleasant and can motivate us to act.

Today’s parenting gift includes 10 anti-bullying rhymes like:

  1. I won’t bully others. They’re my sisters and brothers.
  2. My friends won’t include mean kids who are rude.
  3. A bullying tongue offends everyone.
Indian Boy Talking
 
A bullying tongue offends everyone.

 

 Get all 10 of these anti-bullying verses. Ask your child to pick his favorite. Suggest he say it often, post it on the fridge, and act on it when needed.

Better yet, have an anti-bully brainstorming dinner. Write down as many rhymes as your children can think of. Ask each child to choose the one they want to repeat and post it where they will see it as a reminder.

Pick up this powerful parenting present by inserting this code word:

SLOGANS

at:  

https://www.kidsdiscuss.com/subscriber-gifts.asp

 

 

Consider adding it to a 3-hole binder to use whenever it is needed.

 

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Bully Checklist for Parents – 10 Warning Signs

Girl being bullied
 
Your Child Can Stop Bullying!

 

IF YOU’RE THE PARENT OF A CHILD BULLY OR A BULLY-FOLLOWER AND YOU WANT TO BE SURE, open today’s parenting gift. It includes 10 bullying signs.

Yes, bullying has been around since people existed. Today it is not just calling someone a name. Child bullying includes using power to control another with insults, rumors, hitting, shoving, spitting, and tripping. Bullies reject their targets and ban them from their peer groups. Their intention is to hurt the other.

5 Steps to Changing Child Bullying Behavior:

1.  Acknowledge the truth. If you decide, “Yes, my child is a bully,” you are brave to admit it.

2. Increase your bravery by asking yourself, “Is anyone in my family modeling this behavior?”

3. Ask that member to stop the negative behavior. Remind that person your child is watching.

4. Discuss together better ways to model good behaviors that express your family values.

5. Use today’s bully checklist and chat about it's 10 points with your child.

Indian Boy Thinking SMALL
 
Find Out What Your Child Really Thinks

 

  5 Bully Discussion Tips with Today’s Checklist:

1. Model respectful behavior.

 2. Ask, don’t accuse.

3. Find out what he thinks about bullying.

4. Help him see that helping is better than hurting others.

5. Work together on an anti-bullying slogan for his self-talk. Hang back so most of the slogan is from him. Why?      Because if it’s from him, he’ll be more likely to use it.


Download your parenting gift by inserting code word, BULLYING here:

 

Bully Checklist 

Even if you don't need it now, consider putting it in your parenting binder. You might need it in the future. Then nip bullying in the bud.

 

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Bullying Signs: How Parents Recognize Problems and Create Solutions

Child Comforting SMALL
 
"My Powerful Mind Is Thoughtful and
Kind."

 

WHY DO SOME KIDS BULLY OTHERS? Research says that bullying can give kids a sense of power and prestige. The bully wants to have others think he's important. When he hurts kids, he feels dominant and strong. It's hard for bullies to give up such feelings.

 

Some bullies come from abusive homes and treat others like they have been treated. 

 

Research also says that bullies pick on weak fearful kids. Children who are socially awkward, lack self-control, hyperactive, and don't fit in, become easy targets.

 

How Parents Can Help 

In today's article, How Parents Turn Bullies into Caring Kids, you can help both the bully and the bullied child. You will find:

 

  •  7 signs your child could be a bully-follower
  • 3 questions smart kids should ask about bullies
  • 10 parent and child discussions about bullying
  • 10 anti-bullying slogans for your child's self-talk 

  

Black Boy Non-Bully
 
When I See a Victim, I'll Go and
Assist Him.

 

Why not raise thoughtful children who help the kids who are picked on? Being proud of your children is such a great feeling. You'll be building character too.

 

Click on: How Parents Turn Bullies into Caring Kids 

 

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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Bullying and Peer Pressure: Parenting Kids to Choose Empathy + Video

Peer Pressure
How Parents Help Kids Avoid Bullying

 

BULLIES BURN BRIDGES BY WHAT THEY SAY AND DO . They destroy connections like trust, friendship, and future relationships with their victims.

Bullying and Peer Pressure

By seeming powerful, bullies can influence other kids. Some children are afraid to say, “No” to the bully. Others follow because they want to "fit in."

Victims never forget how the bully made them feel nor do they forget who followed the bully’s pressure against them.  Being hurt physically, verbally, and/or emotionally, creates painful memories in the mind of the victim. They always remember. Some take revenge.

How Parents Can Help

Whether you suspect you are raising a bully or a bullied child, you CAN guide your child with good discussions.

Many children lack the experience to be wise about causing painful feelings and the importance of caring about others. You can raise their consciousness.

In today’s video, you will find 10 strategic questions to get your child to think more deeply about bullying, to consider the victim’s feelings, and to build the bridge of empathy.

As a bonus, you’ll also find 5 self-talk mottos to help your child choose caring and empathy over bullying.

Feel free to copy the transcript below the video with both the questions and mottos.

Family Discussions:

Use one question from the video per dinner discussion to find out what your child really thinks about bullying. Hold back from jumping in with your opinions. Listen well. Be sure you understand your child's thoughts before you speak.

Enjoy helping your children think wisely about the problems and pain that bullies cause because you CAN inspire them to choose caring instead.

Watch

 

Bullying – How Parents Help Kids Choose Kindness 

or

https://youtu.be/BnULkHcVE2M

 

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Parenting Honest Kids: 7 Top Benefits for Truthful Children

Boy discussing honest with mom SMALL
 
Honest Discussions Help Kids Build
Character

 

WHEN PARENTS DISCUSS THE VALUE OF TRUTHFULNESS, youngsters understand why honesty is so important. Most children have told lies and already know that lying causes pain. As the parent, you can remind your child of 3 painful problems they may have experienced.

3 Dishonesty Problems:

  1. Being distrusted
  2. Feeling guilty
  3. Worrying about being caught

Ask your child, "Can you think of more problems that telling a lie can cause?"

Today’s gift shares 7 positive outcomes when children tell the truth. Use them for your parent/child discussions too.

Sample Questions to Ask Your Child:

  1. Can you remember a time when you told the truth and it felt good?
  2. Do friends trust you? Why?
  3. Why does a clean conscience help you sleep?
Boy Sleeping SMALL
 
Honest Kids Sleep Well

 

Your Parenting Gift:

 Why not add it to your 3-hole binder to pull out and use again whenever you need it?

To get more thoughtful discussions that promote truth telling: 

Click on:

Truthful Kids

and insert the code word: OUTCOMES

 

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How Parents Raise Kids with a Healthy Conscience - 5 Discussions

 

Blaming Boy Shrugging
 
Help Your Kids Think about Honesty 
 

Discussing dilemmas is a powerful way to help kids to think about right and wrong. With dilemmas, your child has the chance to pretend someone else has the problem and come up with a solution.


In today's parenting gift, you'll find 5 child dilemmas to ask your child. 
His task is to think of answers that would help kids in the dilemma have a clean conscience. Listen well. Have fun with the problems by asking some questions of your own.

Here's an example:

Black Dad Discussing SMALLERJPG
 
Bonding with Parent and Child Discussions

 

Your best friend lied to your friends about his dad being a millionaire. Most of the kids knew it wasn't true and are calling him a liar. Now he's embarrassed and doesn't want to face them.

  1. Will you remain his friend? Why?
  2. What's the best way for him to correct his lie?
  3. Why is being truthful the best policy?

Of course, you can ask whatever questions are best for your child. Remember, your goal is to help him think clearly and choose honesty.

Download your gift and add it to a 3-hole binder to use whenever you need it.

Pick it up at: How Parents Promote a Healthy Conscience by inserting the word: DILEMMAS

 

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10 Parent-Child Discussion Questions about Honesty - Your Parenting Gift

 

Honest Discussion SMALL
 
How a Parent's Good Listening Skills Promote Honesty

 

If you want to raise and honest child and you’re not sure how, don’t worry. Here are 10 questions you can use for a friendly discussion. Get her ideas before you share any of your own. We call this a baseline because you’ll know where to start if you feel she’s not quite on the right track. 

Be open, listen well, and avoid harshly criticizing her thoughts and answers. Criticism will shut her down.  Then your ability to influence her toward honesty will shrink drastically. Be kind in your approach.

I suggest you take one question a week to discuss at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime. You might think lecturing is faster but if your child clams up, how will you know she accepts your lecture. Many kids tune out or rebel when being told what to do or how to think.

You can open your child up when she knows you’re really listening. She’ll want to know you care about her ideas. These 10 discussion questions will help you and your child promote honesty.

Here are 2 sample questions:

  1. Why to children, who tell lies, lose friends?
  2. Why are children, with truthful reputations, liked and trusted.

Don’t forget to ask for examples from your child's own life.

Pick up:

10 Honest Discussion Questions to Help Your Child Choose the Truth

  by inserting the code word HONEST.

I suggest you copy it and add it to your 3-hole binder to use whenever you need it.

 

Please let me know if this was helpful by commenting below:

Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy, MSS

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