Empathy and my Two Year Old


The definition of empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. I’m pretty sure we’re all on the same page about wanting our kids to develop this trait. 

The way I do it is helping Ezra name his own emotions.

When Ezra is crying he’s not showing me that he feels OK, he’s showing me that he currently feels something other than OK. Crying doesn’t signal to me “you’re OK” it signals “you’re angry/upset/frustrated/sad” and I really want my son to learn this. I display empathy by showing him I understand his feelings. I model it. I don’t want to encourage him to repress his emotions. I also don’t want to teach him that as an adult who can see that nothing is actually wrong and he truly is OK, that I have the last say on how he feels.