I know I’ve written about this topic in the past and I wanted to write about it again, but I really believe it’s important for our children to learn empathy at an early age. Children who learn and show empathy early on grow up to become adults who care for and respect other people. They turn out to be advocates for not only themselves, but to those around them. This word hits home to me, because when I was growing up, I saw very few children and teens who showed empathy.
A few weeks ago my three-year old started preschool and one conversation I had with her principal will forever stay with me. We were on the playground talking about how she was doing in school and she and her other two teachers were talking about how well she cares for this one girl (we will call her Michele). Maddie realizes that Michele is smaller than most of the kids, has a hard time balancing and seeing. Her principal and teachers were telling me that Maddie helps Michele wash her hands each day, helps her get a stool to reach the sink, puts on her shoes to go outside and even helps her on a pike and pushes her around while Michele steers. As they were telling me their eyes were tearing up and my face lit up like a Christmas tree. I was beyond proud of her and it was probably one of the most important moments of motherhood thus far.