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Arthur begins to empathise

One year old Arthur is reading a book with Dad in a cafe. He notices the expressions on the faces in the book. An older girl hurts herself, Arthur gives her a cuddle to help her feel better.

Good for looking at

  • The beginnings of empathy
  • Emotional development
  • Theory of mind

One year old Arthur is reading a book with Dad in a cafe. He notices the expressions on the faces in the book. An older girl hurts herself, Arthur gives her a cuddle to help her feel better.

Notice

  • How do we know what Arthur is interested in?  Be specific, look out for body language, actions, gestures.
  • How is Arthur learning? Which areas of development, engagement and characteristics of learning can you observe?
  • How does Dad support Arthur’s learning?
  • What is valuable about the specific book they’re looking at?

Reflect

What did you recognise about:

  • The way Arthur is learning?
  • What Arthur is beginning to understand?
  • The adult role – how did Dad support Arthur?

Respond

What would you do to:

  • Support Arthur’s development of empathy?
  • Model empathic behaviours for young children?

What next?

  • How could you encourage parents to share books with very young children in this way?
  • How do you make even such young children feel confident to express their feelings in your setting?
  • Are there any other ways you can support children to be aware of different facial expressions and what emotions they signify?

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