Fostering Empathy in Children During the Holidays | Pride Martial Arts
ACCESS OUR SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Pride Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
ACCESS OUR SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Pride Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Julianne Stalker reviewed Pride Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My children have been going to Pride for over a year now. My son does both Judo and TaeKwonDo. My daughter does TaeKwonDo. The atmosphere at Pride is very much an inclusive environment. My children feel a sense of belonging and encouragement they don't seem to feel at some other places they have done club sports. I like that I know exactly what is expected of the kids at each belt level so I can make sure they're practicing the right things. They are always excited to get on the mat and work on new skills. The Masters really know each and every child they work with and make sure to highlight the child's strengths instead of only focusing on those areas that need improvement. Also, the dojang is very clean and comfortable.

Mike Ganzer reviewed Pride Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I can't say enough good things about Pride Martial Arts. It's not only a fantastic place to learn some amazing skills, but it's also a very close knit group of people that are like family to one another. Masters Ron and Brandon are great teachers and will always take extra time whenever a student needs it . Very happy our kids have a place in the Pride family.

Rickey Bradshaw II reviewed Pride Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

First the facility is clean, and big and second the masters are kid friendly

Nadia CL reviewed Pride Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My son has been attending Pride for two years and I couldn't be happier. I've watched my son go from being a shy child to being more confident. Things are not always easy for my son, sometimes the exercises are hard but he never gives up. Master Ron and Master Branden encourage students to try their best and to never give up. They celebrate the small accomplishments as well as the large one. Students at Pride are taught more than martial arts. They are taught respect, responsibility, perseverance, and courage. Every class you see them helping and cheering on one another. If you're looking for a martial arts home where your child will learn not only martial arts but skills that will help to become the boys and girls they are meant to be, the Pride Martial Arts is where you should be. Not only does Pride offer kids classes, they offer adult cardio-kickboxing classes are fun and quite the workout! Prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is like no other! I’m looking forward to returning to class soon! Come join our Pride.

Julia Albor reviewed Pride Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I can't say enough great things about Master Ron and Master Brandon and everyone at Pride. My 5 yr old son started last year in Taekwondo and has enjoyed every minute of it since. When we started we where nervous because he has struggled with sensory issues since toddlerhood. He had a hard time controlling his body and focusing long enough to follow specific instructions. We started at Pride with the hope that martial arts would help him. Pride provides classes that are both age appropriate and fun! My son has not only learned how to better focus and follow directions he's also learned better teamwork, self control, and discipline. He no longer struggles as much with controlling his body and following direction we've watched him grow and transform and we couldn't be happier. Since watching our son grow and learn over this past year and seeing the pride and joy he has in himself everytime he learns a new skill, earns a new tip or promotes to a new belt our 3 year old daughter now also is part of the Pride family and she loves every second of it. Sometimes it feels like we live and breath Taekwondo but seeing what its done for my kids i wouldn't have it any other way. We are so glad to be apart of the pride family!

Pride Martial Arts New Lenox Martial Arts & Fitness for All Ages!
Call us today to get started 779-803-3170
Request Information

Blog

Our latest news & thoughts

Fostering Empathy in Children During the Holidays

‘Tis the season! A season of giving, a season of patience, a season of all things warm and inviting. Doesn’t it all sound magical? As we go into this time of year, the excitement fills the air and the anticipation of gifts and fun activities encompasses our very being, no matter what age. And while the spirit of the season surrounds us, the hustle and bustle often leaves parents exhausted and children focused only on the “gimme” of presents. To counteract this, it is important to revamp our priorities and utilize the holidays as a starting point for helping foster empathy in children.

The first step in doing this is helping children understand what empathy is. Being able to see things from another person’s view can be a challenge, especially the younger the child. The good thing is, we are all born hardwired with the ability to be empathetic. However, it doesn’t just evolve…empathy is developed through experiences and practice. Empathy is an emotional and cognitive experience.

As babies, empathy is mirrored as strictly an emotional reaction to a situation. For example, when one baby cries, the one next to it often begins crying as well. This is when mirror neurons in the brain are firing in response to the behavior being observed. The same happens when babies mirror facial expressions even when they are only a few days old.

As children get older, they begin to tap into the cognitive side of empathy. This is because their executive functioning skills are more developed. This means that they are better able to understand others’ points of view, regulate their own emotions, and self-monitor. However, it is more natural for children to be selfish than empathetic. This is why it is important to give children experiences that exercise the empathetic muscle throughout childhood and adolescence.

Even though children are not instinctively considerate of others, it is important to not dwell on that and, instead, find opportunities to work with them on this. When they exhibit selfish behaviors, parents should empathize with their child and then rephrase the situation to elicit a more empathetic reaction. In behavior therapy, it is called “shaping a new response.”

When working on building empathy in children, there are many things parents can do to help. Giving children the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process when choosing an organization to donate to or volunteer for, is a great way to start. This helps them feel excited about giving and they learn generosity. Another important thing is to

teach children to be thankful for things they have and the gifts they receive, no matter how small or if it’s not exactly what they wanted. Teaching gratitude helps children learn to appreciate what they have, and therefore helps them understand that not everyone has the same things. But above all, parents being a role model of empathy year-round will help children learn this concept.

The holidays are a wonderful time to spend moments fostering empathy in children. By teaching generosity, compassion, and gratitude, children have a better understanding of the true meaning of the holiday season. Making events of generosity a tradition throughout the year will solidify these lessons even further. In turn, we are shaping the next generation to be caring adults.