← Back to home /  Tips & Resources

Open Dropdown

Resources

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Every Kid Deserves the Chance to Learn and Grow

Pair these FREE educator-developed printable activities with your favorite Encantos videos, books, and songs to help your child develop critical reading, writing, math, and social emotional learning skills. Plus, check out our Tips for Grown-ups to help reinforce the teachable moments in each lesson.

Nov 23, 2021 -

Back to Blog

How can you nurture empathy in your child?

We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t judge someone until you walk a mile in their shoes.” Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s point of view, and it’s a key component of emotional intelligence. Empathetic people have the power to understand and share the feelings of others—to imagine what they might be going through.

 “Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’” - Brené Brown


We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t judge someone until you walk a mile in their shoes.” Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s point of view, and it’s a key component of emotional intelligence. Empathetic people have the power to understand and share the feelings of others—to imagine what they might be going through.


There are three components of empathy, all of which are important for building trust and forming strong relationships. Cognitive empathy involves knowing and understanding how another person feels and being able to see things from their perspective. Emotional empathy describes the ways that we share someone else’s emotions, physically feeling what they feel. Lastly, empathic concern (also known as compassionate empathy) occurs when we go beyond simply understanding and sharing the feelings of others, to taking action and offering help.


A strong sense of empathy leads to greater success throughout life, from including a friend who feels left out on the playground to forming understanding in coworker relationships. Empathy allows one to better know and understand the people they work with, connecting with clients and customers more effectively. Teaching and encouraging empathy in children at a young age will give them the keys to successfully communicate with others, be a team player, and genuinely care about those around them. 


One of the reasons Encantos uses storyteaching to demonstrate the New Fundamental skills is that characters naturally help children build empathy. When a lesson is taught as a story and is character-led, children can more easily discern and understand the emotional ideas, as they tend to put themselves “in the shoes” of the characters. This allows children to experience the lives, feelings, and adversities of those different from themselves and can be the jumping-off point for discussions about other people’s backgrounds. 


Here are four ways you can nurture empathy in your child: 


  • Validate difficult emotions - Instead of trying to fix things when your child is feeling sad or disappointed, label and validate their difficult emotions so they learn how to handle them. Saying things like, “I know you are feeling frustrated right now,” “I understand,” and “I also feel angry when ____” shows your child that these feelings are part of life and will help them feel heard and understood.
  • Teach them to be an ally - Set a good example by standing up for others. Show your child how they can support themselves and their peers. Help your child find the courage to respond and show empathy for others and their experiences, and teach them to take action and stand up to injustice.
  • Engage in your community - Tell your child that there are many types of people, different from them, who face many kinds of challenges each day. Show them how they can contribute to their community and help those people - through small and large gestures. For instance, you could donate old clothes and toys to those in need, give your leftover food to someone in need of a bite to eat, or hold the door open for someone. 
  • Reflect on empathy with your child - Acknowledge instances in books, TV, and daily life where you see someone showing strong empathy or lacking it. Talk about what this act of empathy looked like or what the person could have done differently to show empathy.

Read More

Ask a Bilingual Expert

Raising a bilingual child? On this page, our very own Director of Learning Design and Efficacy, Sophia Espinoza, addresses some of the most common questions, concerns, and curiosities around the benefits of bilingualism. Get the scoop below!

Sophia Espinoza is a career educator and curriculum designer with seven years of experience teaching in private and independent schools across the country. She is an expert in 21st-century education, including technologically-powered personalization, multilingual and multicultural curriculums, and social-emotional learning.

Sophia began teaching in Chicago Public Schools through Chicago Teaching Fellows, learning to support both English Language Learners and students with neurodiverse needs. Among her proudest accomplishments is launching the AltSchool Spanish Immersion Program, with the mission of creating bilingual global citizens who are socially conscious and environmentally aware. Sophia holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and M.A.Ed. from Dominican University.

Benefits of Bilingualism (FAQs):

Any advice on managing two Spanish dialects in the household? Does this cause confusion for kids?

What do you recommend if I’m not completely fluent and my child’s school doesn’t have an immersion class?

Do you recommend teaching different subjects in different languages? For example, the solar system in English and the days of the week in Spanish? Or is it better for kids to try to learn in both languages all the time?

We speak Spanish and English in our home but my child almost always answers or talks back in English. How can I go about encouraging her to respond and speak more in Spanish?

Should I set aside time or create activities for each language or is it okay to mix them both together?

Any advice for households where one parent speaks Spanish and the other English? Can this be confusing for children?

How can my child learn language through play?

What are the social and cultural benefits of bilingualism?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?

What are some strategies for raising bilingual children?

What are some common misconceptions about raising bilingual children?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?