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ERIC Number: EJ971476
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Insights: Nurturing Empathy in the Very Young and Gifted
Willis, Mariam
Parenting for High Potential, v1 n4 p14, 16 Jan 2012
Empathy is the ability to understand and feel for the situation of another human being and is shaped by seeing others react when distressed; by imitating what they see, children develop a repertoire of empathic responses. When children see other people in pain, their brains become active in the same regions that process the experience of pain first-hand--evidence that kids are naturally in tune with the people they are watching. There is a natural progression in empathy from infancy onward. In this article, the author describes ways to engage the very young, gifted child that creates a solid foundation for emotional control and effective empathic response in later years. Effective empathy in adult life, a parent's goal, is about sharing another's experience in the world in a way that supports healthy relationships. This becomes second nature when modeled well in childhood. Above all, parents need to remember to empathize with their child's positive emotions at least as often as they tend to the negative so that their child sees that understanding and feeling for the situation of another fosters connection and happiness. (Contains 4 resources and 2 online resources.)
National Association for Gifted Children. 1331 H Street NW Suite 1001, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-785-4268; Fax: 202-785-4248; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Parents
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A