Many small children so easily meet other small children and, all of a sudden, they quickly refer to them as their friends. Parents often marvel at this as they know that these two children came to be in the same nursery, school or neighborhood relatively by chance. Yet young children rarely judge these coincidental circumstances so prudently as us adults often do. Many children are naturally kind and giving to others. They seem to have a innate empathy with other children and in many instances these are the children that they call their friends. Throughout life these childhood friends can be the best form of friendship that we will ever have.
Empathizing with someone takes a realization that you are putting yourself in the same shoes as them and it allows you to wonder how you would like to be treated if you were that other person. For children, many simple forms of empathy come from the fact that their friends have experiences that mirror their own life such as their shared nursery, school or neighborhood and in so doing they find it natural to empathize completely and without reservation.
But somewhere along the line our children have lost the skill of being able to fully empathize. For your child having the ability to show empathy and understand its outcomes can bring a harvest of good fortune. Recent academic information is now coming to light supporting the need for empathy awareness for children and it is important to bear this in mind. The following link explains the need for empathy in Irish education.