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The Empathy Advantage: Coaching Children to Be Kind, Respectful, and Successful

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We live in a time when empathy is not only lacking but on the decline. Kids are bullied because of the color of their skin, religion, culture, a disability and more. Bullying and cyberbullying are increasing, especially for black and brown kids, LGBT youth, and Jewish and Muslim youth. Fueled by decreases in respect, kindness, and compassion, the house is on fire! Empathy may be not be a cure-all, but just a little effort can transform a child into a more sensitive, caring human being. The good news is that empathy – the ability to “walk in someone else’s shoes” – can be taught. This book is all about teaching adults to teach empathy to kids. The payoff will last a lifetime. In this helpful guide, parents, caregivers and teachers are coached to help their children and students to develop social-emotional skills that will equip them to better navigate the world with self-compassion and empathetic concern. The Empathy Advantage is for the busiest parents and educators. It provides tips, strategies, online resources, and activities that are fun and engaging and take just 10 to 20 minutes. It emphasizes the importance of starting early, being good role models, spending quality face-to-face time together, and more. It will help readers understand the dynamics of bullying and teach children to stand up not only for themselves but others. And it explores other topics including managing media in the home, the value of pets in inculcating empathy, active listening, and self-compassion – i.e. being as forgiving and kind to yourself as you would to a friend.

324 pages, Hardcover

Published November 4, 2020

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Lynne Azarchi

2 books2 followers

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Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Vanessa (bookscallmyheart).
387 reviews28 followers
January 9, 2021
“Teaching empathy is one of the greatest foundations and gifts that you can bestow upon your child. Let’s change the world for the better-one child and one adult at a time.”

As a mom to two little girls, I am always looking for parenting books to help me understand them and help me to teach them to be kind and successful human beings. A big thank you to TLC Book Tours, Rowman and Littlefield, and Lynne Azarchi for my gifted copy!

Empathy has been declining in our world and it is so important for us to teach our children how to be empathetic so hopefully the world can become a better place. Some of my takeaways include:
-An increase in screen time has caused a decrease in empathy
-Increase face-to-face interactions and have meaningful discussions with your children
-Reading together and discussing characters’ feelings is a great way to teach empathy
-Provide enough time for free play, especially with peers

I found it helpful that the book provides specific chapters for teaching empathy in developmentally appropriate ways depending on the age range of the child(ren) and provides practical activities to strengthen the “empathy muscle”. I highly recommend this book for parents or teachers!
Author 4 books
September 9, 2021
The Empathy Advantage:
Coaching Children to be Kind, Respectful, and Successful
by Lynne Azarchi with Larry Hanover

In the play/movie South Pacific, Lt. Cable sings a sad song called You’ve Got to be Taught (to hate and fear), referring to his own biased upbringing. In Lynne Azarchi’s new book, The Empathy Advantage, I learned that we can also be taught the opposite: EMPATHY, which I thought was part of our DNA and difficult to learn. Am I happy I am wrong in my assumption! With this book’s guidance, I now have a tool in which to upgrade my empathy meter so that I am even more aware of opportunities for compassion, respect and empathy. How I wish I had such a book when I was in college and majored in Education decades ago.

This 265 page book, with 33 pages of Appendices, Notes and impressive Bibliography is filled with helpful information for parents and especially teachers, who may have noticed since the advent of the Internet and less face-to-face communication, that young persons’ empathy meters need a boost, requiring more actual exercises and actions that children can learn to upgrade their own empathy level.

The author is the executive director of Kidsbridge Tolerance Center outside of Trenton, NJ. As About the Author notes, this nonprofit organization is “dedicated to fostering bullying prevention, diversity appreciation, empathy, and empowerment for youth.” Quite a heavy roster to tackle, but if her book is any indication of her commitment, passion, and dedication to providing the empathy advantage, as her title says, then this game changer for the already thousands of children that have attended the center can become a wonderful tool for the parents and teachers who use it.

The 21 chapters in the book cover the science and biology behind empathy, parent tips, teaching children at home and at school, from infancy through high school and college. One critical chapter, Chapter 12, tackles the importance of empathy to prevent bullying, a main focus at the center. Often referring to her own challenges with her children, Lynn tackles such related topics as self-compassion, active listening social media issues and empathy, the importance of pets as role models for learning empathy, and much, much more. The goal is to have children feel what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes and experience compassion and empathy for their experiences.

The range of topics; the amount of research in the pages; the helpful charts, lists and photos; plus the passion of Lynne’s commitment to teaching empathy is palpable….and contagious. Now I want to learn how to practice more compassion, respect and kindness, all of which Lynn covers in her book.

With the help of Larry Hanover, a skilled writer, Lynn Azrchi has produced a book worthy of your attention, whether you are a teacher, a parent, or just a person who likes children and can use the techniques and ideas in this book to enhance your ability to listen to children and develop your own brand of compassion and empathy.

The Empathy Advantage is published by Rowman & Littlefield publishers and costs $ 29. A paperback version is in the works. Get your own copy to ramp up your empathy factor!
Profile Image for Alisha.
59 reviews8 followers
May 17, 2022
As a parent raising young kids in today’s increasingly more divided and narcissistic world, I have often said to myself that empathy and kindness are the most important things I hope to teach my kids. But I’ve also wondered if I’m doing enough to help my kids build empathy.

I’m so glad The Empathy Advantage came into my life. It’s a helpful guide that teaches adults how to teach empathy to kids. Packed with tips, strategies, online resources and fun activities, this book has increased my confidence in my ability to teach empathy to my kids. I know the payoff will last a lifetime.

Read more about this book and my thoughts at AdventureSeekingMom.com.

*I received a free copy of the book to review from Smith Publicity. All opinions are my own.*
Profile Image for C. Gonzales.
847 reviews30 followers
December 18, 2020
Books that give us good value are so very important. It's even more important when it's a book such as this that give us valuable information in regards to our children. They are the most impressionable and their lives are quite different than ours were when we were young. Teaching them from a young age how to handle certain things is increasingly more important as time goes by.
Lynne Azarchi has written this book as a guide, a guide for you to understand not only how to teach your child to have empathy, but why it's important and how it will help imact their life in a positive way.
This book is very well done. Full of so much value!
March 2, 2021
Lynne Azarchi has done a magnificent job pulling together relevant data and integrating it seamlessly into a self-help book for both parents and teachers. Almost every page has a revelation like, Bullies themselves can get bullied and why, or a creative tip like making simple puppets and using them to act out scenarios that serve as a launching pad for empathy discussions with your child. The developmentally appropriate information makes this book a keeper from the day your kids are born until the moment they become emaciated . Highly recommended for all parents & teachers, especially those who are struggling to make youngsters more sensitive, civil, respectful human beings.”
93 reviews2 followers
April 24, 2022
Brilliant. We ALL need more empathy in our lives, don't we? My kids are 2 and 4 years, and quite a bit of the book is focused on that age range. I loved the practical ideas and the book suggestions. I thought that the introduction about some of the history of research into empathy and the importance of empathy could have been cut back a little bit, but that was probably because I was eager to get into the more practical advice. I'm glad to know that empathy skills can be taught and it's not all nature!

Thank you to Armin Lear Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to access this free e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sara Strand.
1,165 reviews32 followers
December 8, 2020
I thought this was well organized, I appreciated the breakdown in ages in children and the age specific information. Though I wish the chapters on racism and LGBTQ+ were a little more in depth, I think this book is a great springboard for starting the conversations with your children. An excellent tool for not just parents but educators and mentors as well.
Profile Image for R.K. Emery.
987 reviews36 followers
December 16, 2020
A book with a powerful and important message. Written in such a way that it's actually a guide you can put to use in an easy manner. Well thought out, well executed, and full of so many great tips and great information that will have you as a parent feeling more confident in helping your child learn the power of empathy.
113 reviews2 followers
April 4, 2022
Empathy, kindness and respect are fundamental life “skills” all children and adults should have. Incredibly helpful and insightful resource to assist in instilling these values in our children. Now more than ever an important read! Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy.
Profile Image for Elizaveta Friesem.
Author 1 book
May 9, 2023
Lynne Azarchi, Executive Director of the Kidsbridge Tolerance Center, urges the reader to take action in the midst of what she calls an “empathy crisis.” Confidently relying on research, Azarchi busts the dangerous myth that empathy cannot be taught to both adults and children.

Azarchi not only persuades the reader that empathy can be, indeed, taught, but also explains how this can be accomplished in homes and classrooms. What makes the author’s perspective so valuable is that she draws on her vast personal experience.

Even the busiest educators and parents can benefit from the advice provided in this book. Each chapter contains developmentally appropriate interactive learning tips, strategies, inspiring quotes, and essential facts about empathy. If you understand the importance of empathy but are not sure how to help your kids or students develop this vital skill, this book is for you!
Profile Image for Agustiuddin M.
225 reviews1 follower
February 20, 2022
Declining empathy especially in juveniles is real. This is book parents and educators should read. However, I can empathize with those families with both parents working, or single mothers or dads, but nurturing your kids to be empathetic human beings is worth all the troubles and challenges.
590 reviews7 followers
August 17, 2020
Read from an ARC... couldn't have come at a better time. We all need a little empathy these days.
Profile Image for Melissa.
39 reviews2 followers
July 20, 2021
Fresh perspective and worthwhile resources even if you feel ver familiar with developing empathy and its tangential cousins: self awareness, tolerance, curiosity...
Profile Image for Dara.
1,061 reviews28 followers
January 3, 2021
This was a very interesting non-fiction book to pick up for non-fiction November. It reminded me a bit of something I would have read for a college class and I could see it being used in sociology or early childhood education as a textbook. While it would definitely be beneficial for educators and those who work with children, it is also important for parents to learn how teaching their kids empathy is important.

The Tolerance Center in NJ sounds like an excellent place for a class trip and I was certainly interested in the work they are doing there. I also appreciated the ideas of books and websites that can be used to educate kids and help their social emotional skills grow.

Empathy is explained as having the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes and this book did a great job of explaining why doing so is important.
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

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