Watch the video together, then point out that Murray had some trouble understanding what “empathy” meant: it’s the ability to understand and care about how someone else is feeling. There are different ways to build empathy at each age:
Notice how your baby reacts to your different facial expressions. Babies as young as six months old look to their caregivers to figure things out. When passing a baby to a grandparent to hold, you might smile warmly and reassuringly.
When kids recognize and label their own feelings, they can better recognize those of others—a key part of empathy. Try using “feeling” words in everyday moments. “Do you feel sad without your teddy bear?” or “That ice cream made you happy!”
As children begin to interact more and more with others, tough situations come up (tussles over toys, making new friends, or deciding on the next game). In those times, asking kids to see the impact of their actions on someone’s feelings builds empathy. (“John is sad that he hasn’t picked a new game yet like everyone else. Can you give John a turn to pick a game from the box?”)