Teaching Children Empathy
Teaching Children Empathy with this Popular Children’s Game
According to recent research from the University Of New Hampshire, teaching children empathy can help reduce bullying. The researchers taught the children in the study about empathy. They then used the skills learned at school. The study concluded that children with empathy training were less likely to bully or engage in bullying than those who had not completed the empathy training. The authors of the study believe that empathy is essential to developing and maintaining healthy relationships.
Children on the autism spectrum also have a difficult time understanding empathy. My eight-year-old son with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) will often say things about people that may hurt their feelings. He doesn’t understand how his words can be hurtful and isn’t intentionally trying to be mean. For example, if he sees a man who is overweight he may blurt out, “that man is fat.” Like most children on the spectrum he doesn’t understand empathy and can not relate to how the overweight gentleman might feel when hearing those words. Teaching children empathy like my son can be challenging for parents.
I have tried several methods of teaching my son empathy, but he still struggles with this important life skill. Recently, I learned about the new app, Peppy Pals Farm. This game helps teach children empathy and has quickly gained in popularity among children, parents, and teachers in Sweden. It has also earned an impressive list of awards, has become a recommended app multiple times by Amazon, and is now available in the U.S.
In a world of constant bullying, where 85 percent of all children become victims themselves, many parents are left searching for ways to connect with and teach their children the valuable qualities of empathy and emotional intelligence (EQ).
To solve this problem, mother of two and entrepreneur Rosie Linder believes that you need to start this education young. Linder worked with psychologists and EQ experts to create Peppy Pals, a high quality children’s game that is both entertaining and educational. Peppy Pals consists of three apps that allow for a fun, interactive experience that also teach children valuable lessons in EQ. The games consist of (also bundled together for $7.99; available via iOS, Android and Amazon):
Peppy Pals Farm, $3.99
Peppy Pals Beach, $4.99
Reggie’s Play Date, $1.99
My son played Peppy Pals for about 10 minutes before he got board with the game. When I took a look at it myself, I thought it was designed for children younger than my 8-year-old son. My younger son, age 5, seemed to like the game more and didn’t get bored as quickly as his older brother did.
According to the developer players of the game, “Join four quirky animal friends on exciting adventures and learn about emotions and friendship. Whether they are happy, sad, scared, or angry – you can help! You will love the animals’ detailed animations and unique personalities, and there’s no text or language. This award-winning game is a FUN way to nurture a child’s emotional intelligence.”
“Download Peppy Pals and join Sammy (horse), Reggy (dog), Izzy (owl) and Gabby (rabbit) on an emotional and exciting adventure in a colorful and fascinating world, guiding them through relatable situations, playing with them, or enjoying a mini-game. With Peppy Pals your kids learn about empathy, social skills and friendship in a fun and playful way.”
*Disclosure: I received the app Peppy Pals Farm for my android phone in exchange for this review. All opinions are accurate and 100% mine.