To learn anything well, I must see and experience you showing me first. Throughout our days together, you teach me many things whether you intend to or not. I am always watching you!
I am also always wondering if you are understanding me.
Show me you understand my feelings, needs, and wants by intentionally considering life from my point of view. This is the true definition of empathy.
I need to experience your kindness, patience, care, comfort, and joy. I also need to experience your healthy expressions of hard-to-feel emotions like sadness, frustration, and anger. I will be feeling all of these things throughout my life, too.
I need to know that all my BIG feelings are normal and acceptable.
Most of all, I need to know I am loved deeply and cared for no matter how BIG my feelings get.
You can set the foundation in my brain during my earliest years by how you respond to me and others. This is huge, lifelong work for us both!
How is empathy fostered in my young deaf or hard-of-hearing child?
Though empathy involves some action, it is mostly about being present and modeling empathy for your child. It means “meeting your child just where she is” emotionally. It means acceptance and compassion even in the most challenging feelings.
When you stand in your child’s shoes, she learns to stand in others’ shoes as she grows!
You have the opportunity as your little one’s main nurturer to:
Become your child’s “emotional mirror.”
Become your child’s empathy role model.
Become your child’s narrator.
Be your child’s social-emotional coach.
Affirm displays of empathy.
Invite opportunities for empathy into play.
Curious To Learn More?
Check out our additional Relationship Resources for more information on nurturing your child.