The following 10 tips for teaching empathy are evidence based inspired by scientific research and have been compiled by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.

  1. Address your child’s own needs, and teach him how to “bounce back” from distress
  2. Be a “mind minded” parent
  3. Seize everyday opportunities to model – and induce – sympathetic feelings for other people
  4. Help kids discover what they have in common with other people
  5. Teach kids about the hot-cold empathy gap
  6. Help kids explore other roles and perspectives
  7. Show kids how to “make a face” while they try to imagine how someone else feels
  8. Help kids develop a sense of morality that depends on internal self-control, not on rewards or punishments
  9. Teach (older) kids about mechanisms of moral disengagement
  10. Inspire good feelings (and boost oxytocin levels) through pleasant social interactions and physical affection