There are many ways parents can encourage empathic behavior in their children. The role of the parent – the child's first role model – is to nurture empathy at home, in school, and in the community through small daily kind acts and by creating a culture of compassion. A confident, respectful child is what society needs to build trust and a sense of belonging for all. Learning to handle emotions, resolve conflicts peacefully, and make responsible friends and decisions benefits everyone.
As the main role model in a child's life, parents can try to model emotional intelligence at home. Our homes should be the "safe place to fall" for every member. Here, at the end of a long, stressful day, we can all come and be ourselves. We are loved unconditionally, and in turn we appreciate and love others. With this supportive foundation, our children can go to school, sports fields, theater stages and online chat rooms and give emotional support to others. Not to mention the ability to empathize is more important now than ever as social distancing may have another effect on our population: the ability to have less positive interactions behind screens.