How Danish Parents Teach Empathy

The Danes seem to have found the secret to living in full happiness. There is a lot of research showing that the residents of Denmark are the happiest in the world. It seems that in Denmark, to make children happier, parents teach their children from a very young age what it is and how to carry out empathy (to improve individual and social happiness at the same time).


Empathy is the ability to recognize the emotions of the other, that is, to be able to ‘put yourself in the shoes’ of another person and understand their emotions and even their way of acting. Society seems to be becoming too individualized, we are becoming a society where there must always be a winner and a loser. If you are a winner you are successful, if you are a loser it seems that there is no use learning from mistakes.

In Denmark the value of teamwork is much more important than winning or being above the rest. To achieve this, teaching empathy is key.

How to practice empathy and connect to happiness

All current neurological research shows that human beings achieve more happiness by cooperating with others than by going on their own. Scientists have discovered a ‘social brain’, which lights up to show that we are driven by something beyond our own self-interest. The social brain propels us toward a social connection.

Affective relationships are one of the greatest predictors of happiness in people, far above money. It used to be believed that human beings were innately selfish, but that is not true. We are all predisposed to be empathetic from birth, but so that it is not lost, we must work on it. People have to learn to connect so that empathy works, being able to better understand trust and other keys to achieve greater happiness. Children can be taught this from an early age.

Teaching Danish Children About Empathy

The Danes teach empathy at school but he has already worked from home. Empathy is a great concept and is taught in many different ways for all ages.

The first and fundamental thing for children to learn empathy is to know how to make good use of language, since the language used is very important. Learning to describe others, ourselves, understanding actions and emotions is necessary for empathy. An empathic language is used since children are small to describe oneself and others. Parents do not speak ill of others in the presence of their children and seek a way for their children to understand the behavior of another child without labeling him negatively. They focus on all children being good and there is always a reason behind the behavior so children naturally learn to find the good in others.

Help children understand the feelings behind the behaviors. Working on forgiveness is also essential to foster greater trust, cooperation with others and a better relationship between siblings, essential to be able to have a good social relationship. Additionally, parents must also have empathy for each other. Parenting is tough, and compassion and forgiveness will help kids learn empathy better. They also use books and stories to work on empathy on a daily basis.

They also build confidence in children by learning from their own emotional limits. Thus, children will have better self-esteem and will know how to make good decisions based on what they feel at all times. Self-regulation is also essential for teaching children.

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