It can be difficult to teach children to have empathy for others. I have been shocked at times by my girls’ utter lack of respect for each other—they will snatch, push, pull or do whatever it takes to accomplish what they want at that particular moment. My
oldest has had a head start on torturing her sister, and since she is older I am trying to teach her empathy.
She is doing well. She has a big heart. She often will say, “Aw” or “Oh, no!” when the baby cries. Sometimes, she will give hugs and kisses or offer her a toy to make her feel better. That is, unless she makes her cry, in which case she seems to care very little if at all. I always make her hug her sister by way of apology.
I also believe that apologizing to her when I do something wrong is a good way to teach her that everyone makes mistakes. On days where I snap at her because I’m irritable, or if I accuse her of wrong doing only to discover that I was wrong, I sit her down, I apologize for my mistake and I ask her to forgive me. Now, I know some people probably think this is very silly, and others would never, ever consider admitting being in the wrong to a child. My mom is one that would fall into that category. However, I believe in living what you teach and I feel like it will help my girls learn how to apologize easier if they see me leading by example.