Nurturing empathy in kids – How an urban mother does it
What does it take to teach empathy to kids? Read on as Ami Doshi, Global Outreach Director at Milaap.org shares some tips with us.
As your child grows, the list of things to tackle grows longer too: potty training, teaching your child to eat, clean up, prepare for school – and the list goes on. Among all these things, raising a kind, well-mannered child takes the most effort.
Experts say nurturing kindness and empathy boosts a child’s ability to communicate, cooperate, respect, and even lead! But as an urban parent, balancing homework, play, and discipline leaves little time for softer details.
So we reached out to an urban south-Asian mother who has cracked the code by getting her family involved in giving back to the community.
Ami Doshi is the Global Outreach Director at Singapore-based crowdfunding website, Milaap.org. After co-founding a portal for the poor in south Asia, Ami ran a retail setup before she followed her heart again. As Global Outreach Director of Milaap.org, she helps individuals, corporates, and foundations create lasting social impact by raising funds for causes that they care about.
How it started
Ami was inspired by the goals of Milaap’s Hope Project goals, and wanted to help. “I loved the fact that 100% of the funds raised went to the exploited Devadasis in India who sought help. I also loved that I could track the impact of each dollar. So sitting in Texas, USA, I setup my fundraiser through Milaap’s website,” she shared.
However, the campaign took a whole new dimension when Ami’s 6-year-old son, Cyrus, decided to pitch in and share some of his piggy bank money. “We sat down, and opened up his “SHARE” box. He has three jars: share, save, and spend. He counted out $51 as his contribution. According to him, that last $1 dollar is for luck. This was the first time he had cracked open his “SHARE” box!” Ami explained.
And it didn’t take long before Cyrus’ little sister joined in too.
Check out the next page for some tips from Ami on how you can instill a natural sense of empathy in your kids.
Ami’s tips for nurturing empathy in kids
Way before their involvement with Milaap, Ami’s family have been helping out with the Habitat for Humanity in Texas, where the kids help to paint the walls of someone’s new home. The Doshi family also volunteer with Meals on Wheels where they deliver warm meals on a psychedelic painted bus to homes in low income areas.
Thus, it was only natural that Ami would start the Milaap fundraiser to keep up with their efforts to give back to the community. In fact, she was amazed when her 6-year-old recently contributed to help rehabilitate trafficked women in India.
Here, she shares some tips on how families can instill a natural sense of empathy in their children:
1. Get your kids involved
Involving your kids in your own efforts to give back to the community is the best first step that you can take. After all, your little ones learn best by following in your footsteps. So, go on and set a great example for them!
2. Make giving a family tradition
Introduce and explain the idea of giving to your kids early on, and start putting that into action gradually over time. Even simple acts like helping out a neighbour with their spring cleaning or giving away clothes that no longer fit them to the needy count. The idea here is to make giving a part of your family’s tradition.
3. Explain it to them
Kids may not know the significance of giving and giving others a helping hand, so do take time to sit down and explain to them. One way to do this is by using units or terms of value that they can understand. For example, if you are giving a carton of food to a needy family, tell them how this will help the family (i.e. they won’t go hungry) and how long this can potentially last (i.e. A month? 2 weeks?).
4. Make it fun
Make giving a fun activity, a way for the whole family to be together. So instead of pulling out your kids’ old clothes and toys yourself, get them to help you out by choosing the appropriate items. You can also take them along when you drop off the items at the collection centre.
Start giving now!
With the demands of an urban life, squeezing time to nurture empathy and giving in the family can be a challenge.
This Women’s Day, Milaap and theAsianparent is helping bridge this gap by making a difference in the lives of rural women entrepreneurs in India – and you can help out too!
Here’s all you need to do:
- Click here to send an inspiring message to one rural woman entrepreneur
- Upon submission of your message, $5 will be loaned on your behalf to better her business
- Share this link with your friends and get them to empower these rural woman entrepreneurs too!