Well…my book is officially on its way to publishing! Buttons the Brave Blue Kitten should be available on Amazon within weeks. As an Early Childhood Mental Health Therapist, I believe in the importance of using picture books to teach children social skills, emotional competency, and help them learn about their world. I wrote this book with the intention that it will teach children the basic foundations for the development of empathy, or the ability to see how someone else is feeling from that person’s perspective. Empathy is a crucial foundation for children to have to further build upon healthy social skills and attachments with others.
Empathy building tip for today… point out others feelings to your child. You can do this in picture books by asking your child how he or she thinks the characters are feeling. Point out other’s feelings in public places too (“See that little girl over there who is crying? How do you think she’s feeling? What might make someone feel that way?”). With young children, pointing out the feelings of others, your child, and yourself helps promote your child’s emotional literacy which is crucial for empathy! A great opportunity for teachers of young children is to do this during conflicts between children (“Danny, Elizabeth looked sad when you knocked over her blocks. Look at her face, she looks very sad. What can you do to help her feel better?”).
Let’s take some steps to build empathy with the children in our lives today!