In our pandemic era, why we must teach our children compassion

HENCHINGER REPORT | Here are some comments I’ve heard from children lately:

“It’s her fault she got Covid. She took too long eating lunch without a mask.”
“Who cares if I get on a flight with Covid? I’m already sick.”

That’s why, as a speech pathologist and a mom of two school-age kids, I believe it’s time to focus far more on empathy education, in our schools and our homes — especially with the omicron variant rising and so many more kids likely to be diagnosed as having Covid.

By now, kids are aware enough of the virus to know who’s sick and who’s not. There’s much blaming, shaming and superstition about it, in a way that can destroy relationships.

Showing empathy can be especially hard for kids, because their emotional understanding is still in development. Especially in times of stress and upset, they may retreat to focusing more on themselves — as do we adults.