#UGUmbrella – Imagine what others may be going through, this December we look at Empathy
November 30, 2020
GUELPH, Ontario – Earlier this year, we introduced students, staff and community members to The Umbrella Project. The Umbrella Project, founded by Dr. Jen Forristal, features monthly themes, activities and curriculum links to support students and staff as they focus on wellness.
Last month, students and staff focused on gratitude as their Umbrella skill and this month, we will focus on empathy.
Empathy is about being able to consider what someone else may be going through and imagining how they might be feeling or thinking. Empathy is often the first step toward compassionate action and helping others.
The month of December is a great time to practice empathy as so many people are celebrating various holidays, many of which will be different this year due to the global pandemic.
Empathy is important because when we have it, we are more likely to treat others with compassion and can better understand the needs of the people around us.
This month, practice your empathy Umbrella skill by:
- Helping younger children understand how to recognize emotions so they are better able to understand how others may be feeling. You can do this by drawing “feeling faces” or take turns role-playing different emotions
- Encourage your child/ren or students to consider how other’s may experience certain situations
- Think about how the global pandemic may be affecting people in your community as we approach the holiday season. Write a letter or send a card to a neighbour or friend, who may be alone or separated from their loved ones over the holidays
- December is a great month to make a donation or contribution to a local charity or food bank and then discuss with your family or class how this contribution (big or small) will impact the lives of others
Let us know how you are practicing empathy and all of your learned Umbrella skills by tweeting using the hashtag #UGUmbrella.