See the full video here.
empathy is one of the concepts we need to teach our children. The word comes from the Greek "empathos", which means "suffering with another". Imagine you're walking down the street when you look up and see a tightrope walker who's walking across a cable that runs between two buildings. If you stop and think about your emotions for a moment you'll find you feel quite scared, but not because your own life is at risk. What you're experiencing is empathy, That is, suffering with the other, experiencing the emotion that the other has. A common way to express this is that, "Empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person's shoes." That's a good definition; however, I'd add that empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person's shoes whilst being aware that they're not your own shoes. It's like saying, I understand how you feel, but I'm not experiencing the situation myself. I understand your emotions, but I'm not in the same situation.
For empathy we need "an other." For example, a child can learn to ride a bike because they're taught how to do it by someone else (or several other people). It's exactly the same with empathy. Human beings need other people in order to develop this skill. There are three different types, or levels, of empathy. First, we find emotional empathy. Under that is a little more complexity, let's look at something that is eminently human, like cognition, judgment, thoughts... everything relational, that has to do with the cortex. The third and last level of empathy consists of a change of perspective. This is when you put yourself in another person's position, but add something in relation to yourself.
How can we make our children sensitive and empathetic? Just like we say that to get a child to learn how to swim, we need to teach them how to swim, that is, to use models and have them learn gradually, that driving behavior. With empathy, it's exactly the same. In the words of Mother Teresa, "Don't worry about what you tell your children, be concerned instead about what you do."