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Empathy is the ability you share with others to seem to understand and give them ownership of their own actions. This is a skill that we offer to those who are upset around us. This can be children, parents, spouses, co workers, you name them. It is also the main skill that is needed in order to handle the “fits,” as Dr. Becky Bailey calls them, in our lives and also allows for a better response when talking with people who may be upset at us or others.
Empathy allows for maintaining a connection with the person who is upset during a conflict that may be occuring in the life of the two of you or the life of the one. In order to resist the allowance of blame to be put on you in a certain situation, you have to use empathy, that way instead of getting upset and causing more of a fit, you are allowing the person to take ownership of themselves and allowing for them to either change their minds or their actions in the situation. This also allows for you to not have to stop the situation completely and have all of the power on you, it allows for the person to coexist with their own problems and think “if they can share these feelings with me, maybe I should listen,” allowing for you to offer advice to them and cause open ears from both sides of the situation.
In order to promote empathy in children, the only positive way to do so is to participate in it yourself, teaching them by observation. When a child is upset, let them be upset but empathize. Don’t try to stop the situation by offering a reward or giving punishment before talking through something. This may cause them to do so in the future, causing chaos in situations that could be calm. Instead, you should be using phrases such as “You seem upset” or “Its very hard when…” and following both with something such as “You can get through this” allows for an open mind when the conversation is open and the child will grow by example in empathy.
Throughout the video of Dr. Becky Bailey’s, I have learned that empathy may be the main thing that is needed when having an argument with somebody that is upset, not because it is your fault, but just because they had done something or said something that you disapproved of. Empathy should be something that everyone learns to use at a young age, that way the more they grow, the more the empathy will grow alongside them. This allows for them to pass it down to their children and so on.
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