Helping Children With Empathy

Published on Apr 08, 2020

Español / Soomaali

Parents and Caregivers,

By now, you have likely found some joys and some struggles with this temporary new normal. When thinking about our youngest children and how we can best support them, it is often helpful to look to experts that have been giving parents high-quality information for many years. One such person is Dr. Becky Bailey, and the program she developed called Conscious Discipline.

Our Early Learning Services team has been working hard all year learning about this approach to supporting children’s emotional development and so we again turn to her resources for insight on helping our children through the coronavirus pandemic. The excerpt below comes from her website. The full article is here.

Your Child’s Emotions

As you answer children’s questions, big emotions are likely to bubble up. The Skill of Empathy provides us a lifeline in these difficult moments. There is a helpful way called the DNA Process.

  • Describe what emotions you see your child has. “Your face is going like this (mimic the expression).” Pause to breathe deeply with your child.
  • Name the feeling. “You seem sad.”
  • Acknowledge the desire behind the emotion. Talk about what you think your child was hoping for…. “You were hoping…” or “You wanted…”

Sometimes there’s no easy solution for the problems at hand, at which time safety and comfort become our focus. 

We're Here For You

Please remember the ELS team is here to support you and want to hear from you! Please reach out to any of the following staff:

Emily Conigliaro, parent educator 952-681-6228
Eve Clarke, parent educator 952-681-6973
Sarah Sundberg Perry, parent educator para español, 952-681-6256
Debra Goebel, ECFE coordinator and parent educator 952-681-6257
Melissa Nesbitt, school psychologist 952-806-8940
Livia VanHorne, school social worker 952-806-8939