How to Teach Child Empathy and Respect with the Nurturing Parenting Program

Girl Supporting Sad Boy Sitting Alone on Playground

Empathy and respect are essential skills for healthy relationships and well-being. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person, while respect is the act of showing regard and appreciation for someone’s worth, dignity, and rights. Teaching your child empathy and respect can help them develop emotional intelligence, social competence, moral reasoning, and positive self-esteem.

Girl Supporting Sad Boy Sitting Alone on Playground

What Is the Nurturing Parenting Program?

But how can you teach your child empathy and respect in a practical and effective way? One possible answer is the Nurturing Parenting Program (NPP), a family-centered trauma-informed initiative designed to build nurturing parenting skills. It is an alternative to abusive and neglecting parenting and child-rearing practices. The NPP has been developed by Dr. Stephen J. Bavolek, a recognized leader in the fields of child abuse and neglect treatment and prevention, and parenting education. The NPP has been proven by over 40 years of research, validation, and evidence to prevent reoffense in families receiving social services, lower the rate of multi-parent teenage pregnancies, reduce the rate of juvenile delinquency and alcohol abuse, and stop the intergenerational cycle of child abuse by teaching positive parenting behaviors.

How Does It Work?

The NPP offers approximately 30 programs or program models that are tailored to meet the unique needs of different families. The programs are based on the family’s educational learning styles and abilities, their culture and language, the ages of their children and parents, and their level of prevention (primary, secondary, or tertiary). The NPP features activities to foster positive parenting skills with nurturing behaviors, promote healthy physical and emotional development, and teach appropriate role and developmental expectations. The NPP can be delivered in a home-based setting, group-based setting, or a combination of home and group settings.

Some of the specific topics that the NPP covers to teach your child empathy and respect are:

  • Developing empathy: understanding your own feelings and needs as well as those of your child; recognizing and responding to your child’s cues; expressing warmth and affection; providing comfort and support; validating your child’s emotions; helping your child label and regulate their feelings; modeling empathy for others; encouraging perspective-taking and compassion; using praise and encouragement; avoiding criticism and blame.
  • Developing respect: setting clear and consistent boundaries; establishing rules and consequences; using positive discipline techniques; teaching problem-solving skills; promoting cooperation and teamwork; respecting your child’s opinions and preferences; listening actively and attentively; communicating respectfully and assertively; avoiding power struggles and conflicts; respecting diversity and differences.

If you are interested in learning more about the NPP or finding a program near you, you can visit our product page. There you can also find a variety of parenting resources that we offer, such as books, DVDs, assessments, handbooks, lesson guides, supplements, webinars, workshops, etc. These resources can help you enhance your knowledge and skills as a nurturing parent and teach your child empathy and respect with the NPP.