Teaching Empathy and Communication Skills to Preschoolers

The reason we should teach empathy and communication skills in today's society is very apparent with all the news broadcast we hear of gun-shooting and all of these very critical things happening in the schools.

Part of responding to this is to understand that we need to teach children at an early age how to empathize with their peers. So, as a preschool teacher, one of my main goals is to get children to empathize with each other when they have conflicts. We need to model words for our children and be loving toward them, modeling an atmosphere of love and care.

We need to show them we're a community where we care about and help each other. Treat others the way we want to be treated. Give them tasks so they feel like they're part of the group. That would be valuable at home too, where they feel like they have a place where they are valued within the family unit.

Identifying feelings is very important. We have to keep our goals in mind when we talk to our children. They get so many "no" messages throughout the day, we want to give them some positive messages too. For example, your child wants to color and you have to go to town hall, you have to say "no", but we can turn that around by saying, "yes, you can color when we return".

Supporting their emotional feelings shows respect for their feelings and they in turn learn how to show that respect.