As parents it is our job to help develop empathy and a positive mindset in our children. This will lead them to develop healthy friendships and succeed in social situations. Empathy and a positive mindset is highly correlated to emotional intelligence as well. To help your child develop empathy, try this empathy and emotional intelligence chatterbox. It is a social game that encourages open dialogue around emotions, social situations and how others feel.
These empathy chatterboxes can be used to encourage discussion relating to emotions, actions and consideration of others among children socially, or at home. It helps parents encourage open dialogue in a playful-no-pressure game. It is also a great ice breaker to get children thinking empathetically and discussing emotions and friendships amongst their selves.
The break down – ‘Why is Empathy so important to develop early in life’.
We know what empathy is; the ability to understand and relate to the emotions of others. But think of it also as an essential ability of emotional intelligence; Influencing a childs social skills, creativity, leadership, resilience and in being an all-around likeable, considerate, happy, successful person (or friend).
Consciously approaching situations with an empathic perspective enables us to conceive more resourceful solutions to problems, form meaningful relationships, and understand our true self more completely and with better self-acceptance. But this doesn’t naturally occur, it is a learnt response.
How will this Empathy & Emotional Intelligence chatterbox help?
Generally, if we aim to develop empathy and a positive mindset, we can positively influence how a child interprets the world. An easy way to encourage children to develop empathy and a positive mindset is to ask specific questions that inspire honest conversations. Make emotive conversation and empathy talk a normal judgement free occurrence 🙂
The Empathy and Emotional intelligence chatterbox helps with just that. It asks questions that require thoughtfulness regarding how they would feel, how others feel and how people’s levels of emotion are different. This focuses on: emotional awareness and expression, reading the emotions and body language of others, thinking how others would feel, considering their own actions in social situations, considering positive traits/actions and general emotional awareness.
It isn’t about being right or wrong. Or even what you would do/say, because it is about parenting children to make positive choices and to make the most of what they have and the situations they have in front of them. These types of discussions also improve your connection with your child, while teaching them to think first, problem solve and put themselves in someone else’s shoes.
How can kids use the Chatterbox?
You can print one of two versions for them, but you might like to do both.
One is targeted at younger children, preschool, kinder and early elementary. This one is mostly about emotional awareness and emotional expression. There are some fun cues that require children to pretend and act out emotions. There are some cues that require children to think of strategies to big emotions, and there are some that ask the child to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Here it is…
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But this second version is aimed at children who can read and play with friends in a social setting (or take turns with family at home), but you can also do it home. This one is a tad more complex and focuses mainly on empathy. There are some cues that are focused on social situations and friendships. Some cues focus on Empathy and considering others, or what actions they could take. While there are still some fun role play and imaginative cues. For the school age, readers version, click this image or click here to open a printable pdf.
Tutorial on how to make a chatterbox.
- Print and Cut
- Fold in the corners
- Flip it over, fold in the corners
- Fold it in half so the colours are on the outside
- Insert thumb and index finger under the colours
- Pop the numbers in so that it resembles a bird’s beak
- Ask your opponent to choose a feeling, move the chatterbox backand forth to spell out the word
- Ask them to choose a number… repeat…
- On the third number lift the flap and read the request underneath.
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