Cultivating Empathy in an Angry World: Teaching Children Kindness Online and Offline

Like it? Share it!

In a world often fraught with division and misunderstanding, the importance of empathy cannot be overstated in my opinion.

We live in an angry world.

Where division separates us from kindness, respect, compassion & love for one another.

We seem to be in danger of losing tolerance for others.

Empathy is the cornerstone of meaningful human connection, fostering understanding, compassion, and kindness.

As we approach Empathy Day on June 6th, it’s crucial to reflect on why the world needs more empathy and how we can instill this vital trait in our children, both in their offline interactions and their digital lives.

Why the World Needs More Empathy:

Empathy serves as a bridge between us, transcending differences in background, culture, and perspective.

It allows us to step into someone else’s shoes, to comprehend their feelings, experiences, and struggles. In a time marked by polarisation and intolerance, empathy offers a path toward healing and reconciliation.

Empathy isn’t just a moral imperative but also a practical necessity.

In an increasingly interconnected world, the ability to understand and relate to others is essential for success in various aspects of life, from personal relationships to professional endeavours.

Empathetic people are better equipped to navigate conflicts, collaborate effectively, and foster positive & happy environments.

Teaching Kids Kindness and Empathy:

Empathy is a skill that can be cultivated from a young age, both at home and in educational settings.

Here are some practical tips for fostering empathy in children:

Lead by Example:

Children learn by observing the behaviour of the adults around them. Model empathy in your interactions with others, both offline and online. Show kindness, compassion, and respect, and your children are likely to follow suit.

Encourage Perspective-Taking:

Help children understand different points of view by encouraging them to imagine how others might feel in various situations. Ask questions like, “How would you feel if you were in their shoes?” This cultivates empathy and promotes a deeper understanding of others’ experiences.

Practice Active Listening:

Teach children the importance of listening attentively to others without judgment or interruption. Validate their feelings and show genuine interest in what they have to say. This fosters empathy and strengthens interpersonal connections.

Promote Kindness Online:

In today’s digital age, it’s essential to teach children how to show kindness and empathy online. Encourage them to think before they post or comment, considering how their words might impact others. Remind them to treat others with respect, even in virtual spaces.

Set Boundaries and Monitor Screen Time:

While technology offers numerous benefits, excessive screen time can hinder children’s social and emotional development. Set limits on screen time and encourage offline activities that promote empathy, such as volunteering, reading books, or engaging in face-to-face interactions.

Address Bullying and Cyberbullying:

Teach children to recognise and stand up against bullying behaviour, whether it occurs in person or online. Encourage them to report incidents of bullying and support those who may be experiencing harassment or mistreatment.

Empathy is a powerful force for building connections, fostering understanding, and promoting kindness in our increasingly interconnected world.

By teaching children to cultivate empathy both offline and online, we can equip them with the tools they need to navigate the complexities of human relationships and contribute positively to society.

As we celebrate Empathy Day on June 6th, let us recommit ourselves to nurturing empathy in the next generation, ensuring a brighter, more compassionate future for all.

Here are some examples of things you can say to teach empathy to children of different ages:

Preschool (Ages 3-5):

  1. “How do you think your friend feels when you share your toys with them?”
  2. “Let’s use our words to express how we’re feeling. Can you tell me how you feel when you’re sad?”
  3. “When someone falls down, how can we help them feel better?”


Early Primary School  (Ages 6-8):

  1. “Imagine how your classmate feels when they’re left out of a game. How can we include them?”
  2. “How would you feel if someone said mean things to you? It’s important to treat others the way we want to be treated.”
  3. “Let’s think about how we can help our neighbors who might need some extra support.”


Later Primary School  (Ages 9-12):

  1. “Consider how your actions might impact others. How can we show empathy in our daily interactions?”
  2. “If you notice someone struggling with their schoolwork, how can you offer to help them?”
  3. “When you see someone being mistreated, speak up and support them. Empathy means standing up for what’s right.”


Teenagers (Ages 13-18):

  1. “Empathy involves understanding different perspectives, even when we disagree. How can we engage in respectful conversations?”
  2. “Think about the challenges your peers might be facing. How can we support each other during tough times?”
  3. “Online interactions matter too. Consider the impact of your words and actions on others, both online and offline.”


Tailoring your language and examples to each age group helps children grasp the concept of empathy in ways that are meaningful and relevant to their developmental stage.

If you’d like to explore all the wonderful resources for ‘talking & teaching’ your kids about Empathy and join in with Empathy Day go here


Related Articles

The Sue Atkins

Parenting Show

Discussing every possible aspect of parenting, giving you advice and support on topics which affect your daily life. Each free, weekly episode is bursting with practical tips, techniques and ideas.

Hi, I'm Sue Atkins

I will teach you my no-nonsense, simple techniques & give you hundreds of my expert parenting articles, videos & podcasts so you can get back to the business of having fun with your family!

As Seen or heard in