LOS ANGELES, March 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The key to having a successful marriage, getting your teenager to talk to you, or stopping inevitable toddler tantrums may start from within yourself. For centuries we have learned about the "Golden Rule," but when Kids in the House sat down with Roman Krznaric, an international empathy expert who is working to combat the world's empathy deficit, he shared an even bigger secret to unlocking successful relationships: "The Platinum Rule."
"The Platinum Rule is to 'Do unto others as they would have you do unto them'," explains Krznaric. He encourages people to imagine how the other person is feeling and thinking and how they would want you to respond to them.
The "Platinum Rule" is different than the "Golden Rule" in that it teaches children to make an effort to understand the way other people think and feel and to act accordingly, which is the key element of empathy. The "Platinum Rule" helps children understand what others are thinking and feeling and to treat them as they want to be treated.
"Empathy is the demonstrative act of stepping into the shoes of another person and understanding their feelings and perspectives," says Krznaric.
Krznaric explains that we can all learn the ability to be empathic, and by doing so we will better understand one another.
When you find yourself in a disagreement with your spouse, friend, or child, Kznaric says, "By listening for those feelings and needs, it actually reduces the tension and it makes all the difference." You don't need to automatically agree with them, but show them empathy by listening to their feelings and perspective on the situation.
"Empathy is something that doesn't just make you good, it's good for you too," says Krznaric. "The great power of empathy is that it is the cornerstone of healthy relationships… without empathy, we are emotionally tone deaf."
During the moments of conflict with others, Kznaric says that looking at things from the point of view of the person who you are in conflict with will help you find resolution. When someone shows you empathy it is incredibly attractive and allows you to connect with that person. Likewise, when you are empathic toward other people they feel understood and are more likely to compromise and communicate, which is the key to discerning a spouse's anger or even curbing your child's tantrum.
Krznaric also explains that teaching children empathy involves being a model of empathy for them as well.
"Don't tell your children to be more empathic, show them how to do it," says Krznaric. "And children learn to do this from their earliest infancy."
As you begin teaching kids empathy, Krznaric says, they will be happier and they will form better relationships with those around them.
In his book, Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It, Krznaric outlines habits of highly empathic people. He encourages parents to start teaching empathy to their kids in order to help them develop these habits early on in their lives. Parents can practice empathic listening with their children by listening out for their needs and feelings.
"I think empathy is ultimately what makes the human bonds that make life worth living," says Krznaric. By creating those human bonds and unlocking successful relationships, empathy can change the world.
On Thursday, March 5th at 12:30pm PST, Kids In The House will be hosting a live Google Hangout where audience members can ask Roman Krznaric their questions on empathy. Click here to RSVP and start asking questions.
About Kids in the House
Kids in the House is the world's largest parenting video library with over 8,000 videos from 450 experts, including physicians, psychologists, researchers, educators, best-selling authors, and other celebrated voices in our culture. This website contains videos that feature parenting tips for all parenting styles from parents who have dealt with particular issues and can share their hard-earned wisdom.
Kids in the House is a place where parents have the opportunity to hear and share different perspectives and get solutions for parenting challenges that range from pregnancy to getting into college. The videos aim to help parents and caregivers become better at parenting by educating, inspiring, and entertaining. The videos are split into the following categories: All Parents, Pregnancy, Adoption, Baby, Toddler, Preschool, Elementary, Teen, and Special Needs.
Leana Greene, founder and CEO of Kids in the House, is a parenting trends expert and one of the top female entrepreneurs in the United States. She aims for this website to be the most comprehensive resource of parenting advice available—one that respects the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
SOURCE Kids in the House