Empathy is the precursor to compassion, and its only when we experience empathy that we can be compassionate. Parents are integral in teaching a culture of learning to respect others' feelings and helping young children to develop empathy.
Preparing your preschooler for school goes beyond them learning to count and write their name. It includes teaching them some basic skills such as listening to others, asking questions and feeling comfortable in the world around them so that they are able to cope independently in a new social environment when they start school.
Teaching our kids basic good manners is a process closely tied to their development. From your instruction and example, they establish a basic understanding of how they should interact with people and behave in a variety of situations.