Each Other’s Feelings
When JoJo looks at Gran Gran, Blue and Magenta, or Shimmer and Shine look at each other’s faces to read how the other is reacting, they’re demonstrating awareness of someone else’s feelings.
As babies grow into little kids, they learn that their behavior can affect their grown-ups’ feelings — they can make grown-ups laugh with joy, they can surprise you, or even make you feel frustrated.
As children understand and become more aware of their OWN feelings, they will also start to look for and recognize those feelings in others. This is the beginning of empathy.
Play together to learn the foundations of empathy!
Parent/Caregiver Tip: Though some adults insist that children say “sorry” when they’ve hurt someone as a way to develop empathy, experts agree that this is not the way to go. In fact, forced apologies tend to be disconnected from true feelings on both sides. Instead, helping children to see how their actions led to the hurt feelings (or body) and guiding them to actions that make amends will support the development of true empathy. You might say, “You pushed your friend and now he is sad. See his tears? Let’s get him a tissue and ask him how he is feeling now.”
- Let’s play peek-a-boo! I can help you hide, or you can hide yourself behind this blanket.
- Peek-a-boo! When you come back, I’ll laugh, clap, and show you how happy I am to see you!
- Do you like playing that game? When you pull the blanket off of your head, you make me laugh with joy! The more I laugh, the more you’ll want to do it again and again.
- Let’s play pretend with a few stuffed animals or puppets.
- Let’s imagine that our animals are doing something that makes them feel happy, like eating ice cream.
- Oh no! My animal dropped its ice cream on the ground. How does my animal feel now?
- Can your animal help my animal to feel happy again? What can you do?
- Now it’s your turn to have your animal feel sad about something. My animal will think of ways to help yours feel better!
- Let’s look in books, magazines, or newspapers for images of people.
- Without reading the words, let’s see if we can think of how the people in the picture were feeling. Let’s imagine what might have made them feel that way.
- What would make YOU feel that way?
- Let’s read the words (if we’re reading a book or a magazine with captions) and see if our guesses were right. What can be done to help the person or people feel better?