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Empathy Is An Important Character Quality To Teach Children

How to be encouraging?

Be kind.

You might be asking : What if I am not compassionate by nature, how do I egg that next person to carry on?

Then I think the next best thing is empathy..being empathetic does help light up a candle in someone else’s dark space ..giving hope, love and cultivating an atmosphere of peace in that someone’s cowering area.


According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English , ’empathy’ means ‘the ability to understand other people’s feelings and problems’.

The first time I heard this word was way back in 1995 when I was pursuing a distance-learning educational diploma course. We had all been asked to name one essential quality a teacher needed to carry with him or her and an expatriate teacher rasped out “Empathy”.

At that time, I was still a greenhorn teacher – with only 3 years of teaching experience. Nonetheless, I was quite taken with his answer and of course I knew that empathy was an important trait of any teacher but what intrigued me was why he regarded it as the most important trait ( remember, we all had to choose just one to contribute)

I can’t remember his reasons – in hindsight it’s probably not because his reasons weren’t convincing but it’s because I lacked the depth of his teaching experience which is probably needed to grasp his explanation.

It is only now several years later I understand why empathy is probably the most important trait a teacher (or anyone for that matter) should possess.

Because without it, it’s really hard to regard people with kindness and therefore encourage them with what is necessary to motivate them.

Ways Of Cultivating Empathy

1) Be observant

You can’t be empathetic if you don’t understand why people behave the way they do

2) Be courageous

Do different things so that when you pick up different experiences you will be better able to relate to others( put yourself in their shoes)

3) Keep learning

Whichever learning style yours is, use it to easily pick up as much as you can along you can along the way : keep an open mind and that will help you to question fads and trends and be more sensitive to the needs of others

4) Cultivate self-awareness

If you have demons in the closet, acknowledge them and let that not crowd your judgement.

5) Everyone is different

How you feel and Person A feels might be different no matter how similar your experience his or hers is ..don’t hold assumptions ..find out the facts.

So..what are other ways of encouraging, yourself, or someone else?


2. Written notes from friends /family

3. Consultations with coaches / teachers

4. Kind words in passing

5. Stories

6. Using positive words in self-speech

7. Learning how to manage your anger

8. Books

9. Dropping a call or a text as and when

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