Bullying is often a tough subject for parents and children alike, but teaching things like empathy, self-confidence, and the appreciation of people’s differences – all of which can reduce bullying behaviors – can be fun! Try these games with your pre-school and school aged kids to stop bullying before it starts.
- Play “guess who?”: Give clues to help your child guess the person you are thinking of. Start with simple clues such as their favorite food or the color of their hair. This can help your child start to think about and appreciate what makes us all different!
- Create family portraits: Craft portraits of your family, as well as other families in your circle. Talk about how each family is similar to and different from your own, and list the special things that each family brings to your life. Most importantly, discuss one thing that all families have in common – they all love each other!
- Chart similarities and differences: Help your child recognize and accept what makes our differences beautiful, and use some math skills while you’re at it! Make a simple chart of characteristics, hobbies, and traits such as “tall, funny, wears glasses, speaks Spanish, loves donuts, etc…) and see how the people in your life add to the variety of your community.
- Imagine being someone else: Let’s use pretend play to teach empathy! When children pretend to be someone else (or even the family pet!) they explore the hearts and minds of others, which helps them see things from different perspectives.
- Help give back to your community: A strong community supports its members, and one way to help your child engage with theirs is to help them understand their role. Talk about ways your child can be a helper to their family, friends, neighbors, and classmates through acts of kindness, and then put those ideas into action!
Learning empathy through perspective-taking is a crucial life skill that all children should work to acquire.
When they need additional help learning this skill, our speech therapists are ready to teach them! Through individual therapy, group therapy and/or co-treatment sessions, we make sure teaching this concept is a priority for clients with social language needs. Why? Because perspective taking, empathy and sympathy are embedded in our everyday lives and part of most “hidden rules” in social communication.Contact us at 614-263-5151 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more
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This post written for you by Natalie Day, M.S., CCC-SLP of Columbus Speech & Hearing Center