Ten Golden Rules to combat air pollution and climate change in Skopje

Fighting air pollution? A few weeks ago, I published the article below — yes, discussion of measures such as I proposed is urgent, and even more: action is needed. First step: traffic restrictions…


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Teaching Your Child Empathy

One of the first steps to developing empathy is your child’s ability to understand that she is a distinct person from those around her, and that other people may have different feelings and perspectives than her own. Try this activity with your 2 to 3 year old. At this stage, she is still very focused on herself, so you can use her understanding of her favorite things to sneak in some understanding of others. Play a game where you ask your little one what her favorite item is in a category (ex: “What’s your favorite thing to eat?”). When she answers, acknowledge and expand upon the answer with one quick memory of her (ex: She says, “Cereal,” You can say “Yum! You had a whole bowl of cereal this morning.”).Then ask, “What do you think my favorite food is?” Pause to let her answer, offer 2 or 3 options to pick from, and acknowledge whatever answer she gives. If you want to offer a different answer, you can do so after acknowledging the one she gave (ex: She says, “Cereal” (again). You can say, “Haha! My favorite is cereal, too? I do like cereal, but I think I like burritos more!”). Repeat asking about different people’s favorites, or switching to different categories — favorite toy, favorite shoes, favorite thing to do in the bath, favorite thing to do at the park, etc.

Your little one is starting to understand that she is a separate person who looks and feels differently from other people. Highlighting the way she does things, or the things she likes helps celebrate her individuality and makes her feel special. When you ask what another person might like, you’re drawing awareness to the fact that others may have different preferences, an early step in developing empathy. Don’t worry if she doesn’t quite understand or take interest in the things others like. Just bringing it up, drawing her attention to it, and being silly with it when you can is good enough for now.

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