Teach Your Kids Empathy by Reading

Of all the qualities I’d like to instil within my child, empathy – the ability to view the world through the lens of another – undoubtedly tops the list. It’s the glue that binds relationships, and the one sure way to keep kindness and generosity a part of our social fabric.

girl reading

According to Amnesty’s poll for International Children’s Book Day, over half of parents believe reading a book is the best means to develop empathy – below are the top titles they picked for helping children gain perspective from others…

In a recent YouGov opinion poll commissioned by Amnesty International UK, 964 mums and dads were asked to identify the pastime they thought developed their child’s empathy the most, and reading garnered first place amongst  53%  of the parents polled — an opinion corroborated by academic research.

(As an aside, just 12% said watching TV, and a miniscule 3% thought playing a computer game – huh? – was the best way to encourage empathic growth in their kids.)

See if you agree with the books chosen as the most emotionally influential; those much-loved stories that have taught how to understand the unspoken complexities of social dynamics, and the ones that have made it impossible to forget what it’s like to live inside the narrative of another:

1. The BFG by Roald Dahl (17%)
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (16%)
3. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (14%)
4. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian (13%)
5. Charlotte’s Web by EB White
6. Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (9%)
7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stoneby JK Rowling (7%)
8. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor (2%)

Via The Guardian