Empathy and relationships

I have been really enjoying the opportunity to teach the same class for 6 weeks. It has made me realise how important relationships are in teaching. To be with these kids in the emotional ups and downs of a day has reminded me of the importance of empathy – both for them and me! That ability to ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’. That ability to know how your behaviour impacts on someone else. That ability to modify your behaviour in the difficult situation. That ability to relate to someone in their hurt.


Photo Credit: blog.spiritualityandpractice.com


“According to a recent Harvard study, cultivating empathy among students has been linked to a variety of desirable outcomes, including positive peer relationships, better communication skills, and fewer interpersonal conflicts.”
(If you have the time and inclination read more on the DailyGood Blog.)


Photo Credit: parentmap.com


I went from thinking about this to reading the “Principal’s Corner” in “SPW News” – the end of term news from my boys school.

The leadership staff had heard Dr George Otero speak. “He suggested that the nature of the teacher-student relationship, the empathy and care shown by the teacher and the ability of the teacher to help children self-direct, were the most critical factors in determining student success.”
If this is true for the teacher-student relationship, how much more must it be for the parent-child relationship?


Photo Credit: dyaneybergon.com

What a challenge. Children pay more attention to what we do than what we teach.
What are our actions saying? Are we teaching our children empathy by the way we live?


Photo Credit: howtobehappytogether.blogspot.com

Enjoy the weekend!