Should Empathy Be Fostered Within Children From An Early Age?

718 Words Mar 31st, 2015 3 Pages
Should empathy be fostered in children from an early age? Yes, it should. Empathy is an important skill to foster in young children. It has many benefits and the consequences of going without it can be detrimental to an individual’s social life, career, and health. The topic of empathy is a broad subject; this paper will focus on the definition, and some of its pros and cons, developmental stages, nurturing methods, and resources on fostering empathy, in regards to children.
According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, empathy is defined as "the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another..." Meaning that acquiring empathy helps you "relate" to what others have or are going through mentally, physically, socially, or emotionally. For example, two small children are racing, when one trips and begins to cry. The second child comes over to the first and pats him on the back. She understands that he’s hurt, perhaps she has a similar experience, and now she wants to comfort him. This second child is demonstrating empathy.
Empathy has many benefits, such as helping you strengthen current relationships, mend previous ones, and build new ones, by being able to show understanding, honesty, and relativity towards another. It helps you cooperate with others and view their perspectives, which is beneficial at school and work, and others will be more likely to accept your advice if you have had…

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