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Empathy is a grossly underrated trait. Empathy is our ability to put ourselves in someone’s place and to understand what they are experiencing.

Raising empathetic children is important for a number of reasons. While most people assume that empathy is something that is naturally found in us, it is actually a skill that is taught. In order to develop this trait, there are a number of things we must do. Of course, the effort in harnessing this trait benefits your child, you, and the world tenfold.

Here are 8 unexpected benefits of raising an empathetic child.

1. It helps them build social skills.

Empathy is important because it is the backbone of our social skills. Without empathy, it is impossible to be able to connect with others or understand others. If your child has empathy, they will be well-equipped to deal with social interaction and connection.

2. It helps them to learn.

In order to learn, we must be open. Sometimes, that means being able to put ourselves in the shoes of someone else, even if we do not know them or even agree with them.

3. It builds compassion.

Without empathy, there can be no compassion. Children who can put themselves in someone else’s situation are far more likely to be compassionate toward their situation.

4. It teaches emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is so important. It is the ability to understand and manage our emotions. It also involves understanding the emotions of others.

5. It encourages tolerance and acceptance of others.

If you do not have empathy for others, it may be hard to be tolerant of their different beliefs or values. At the end of the day, what makes us human is our ability to put our differences aside and understand what someone else is going through.

6. It ensures better success.

Empathy is important for success, even well into adulthood. In career or professional situations, your child will need to be able to empathize with others in order to establish themselves in their chosen path.

7. It promotes more satisfaction in friendships and relationships.

Empathy is a must in relationships. If your child lacks empathy, they will struggle in adult relationships, because they will have a hard time seeing things from their partner’s perspective. Even before real relationships, empathy is a must for building strong friendships.

8. It helps your child to evolve.

Throughout our lives, we have to change, adapt and grow. Empathy is a major part of this. If your child cannot empathize, they will struggle to adapt in life.