Everything listed under: empathy

  • Practicing Empathy - Feelings Charades

    There's a reason counselors are stereotyped as asking, "How do you feel about that?" - because identifying and understanding feelings is a key component of empathy. And empathy is at the foundation of the Golden Rule - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:12).

    Identifying emotions - in ourselves as well as in others - is a learned skill. Some kids pick it up faster than others (much like the multiplication tables), but everyone benefits from practice.

    Feelings Charades offers a fun way to practice the skill of displaying emotion and guessing another's emotion.

    For two or more players.

    Goal: To act out an emotion without words so that others can guess the emotion and respond appropriately.

    How to Play: One player chooses an emotion (you can paste emoticons to index cards or simply write feelings words - happy, mad, sad, scared, tired, guilty, shy, etc. - on strips of paper) That player thinks about what might make him/her feel that way and then acts out the emotion without words.

    Other players attempt to name the emotion. The player who correctly identifies the emotion then chooses an empathetic response (I.e. “Are you sad?") gets to go next.

    Advanced Level: The person guessing the emotion also asks an empathetic follow up response (I.e. "Are you sad? Would you like to talk about it?")

    Super-Advanced Level: In addition to acting out the emotion, the player also acts out what he might do to change that emotion (i.e. change from mad to calm by taking a deep breath).

    Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15).

  • What is Bullying?

    The beginning of every school year brings questions and concerns about our child’s well-being – Will she make friends? Will other kids be mean to him? What if she’s bullied? Christian Academy does not tolerate bullying, and we strive to promote a culture of compassion and respect. However, we have found that there is often confusion about what bullying is and is not.

    What is bullying? Bullying is:
    • Physical, social or emotional harm.
    • Intentional.
    • Repetitive.
    • An imbalance of power (size, numbers or popularity).

    Because elementary students are in the process of learning social skills and maturing, it can sometimes be difficult to assess whether a mean action or remark is bullying or if it is a case of immature social skills, an accident or a misunderstanding.

    At Christian Academy we strive to teach students to “responsible, obedient, compassionate kids” and to develop empathy – an understanding of another’s viewpoint. Research shows that empathy-based training in elementary school reduces instances of bullying through high school!

    This year, we will practice the following in order to develop a culture of compassion:
    • Basing our self-worth on God’s love for each person.
    • Accepting and celebrating our different talents, abilities and appearances.
    • Demonstrating kindness and compassion toward everyone through words and deeds.
    • Responding to mean words/actions in ways that stop (rather than escalate) the meanness.
    • Understanding another’s point of view.
    • Seeking advice from trusted adults about how to handle difficult situations.
    • Conflict-resolution.

    The above skills will be practiced all year in your child’s classroom and throughout the school days. In addition, I will meet with each class on August 29 for an empathy workshop.

    We value your support and your input in the goal to develop students with a heart for God who grow as Jesus did in wisdom, stature and in favor with God and man. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.