Empathy

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I do believe that empathy and the ability to be considerate are two of my most admired qualities in a human being. But, when it comes to parenting, I am feeling a little lost on how to instill these qualities in my children. Do you suppose empathy is something that you are born with, or something learned? A little of both is my guess, but to what degree, I'm not sure. If the majority of your tendency to be empathetic is a learned trait, I can only wager to guess that it is best learned by example. I think I am a pretty considerate person, and I do spend so much of my time helping others and putting others ahead of myself. So, why is it I'm so concerned about all this? I have been spying bits of lacking in this area with my youngest, particularly. Is it the age? Four is still quite young to be expecting her to deeply care about other's feelings, but I do expect her to give a crap. Not to say that she is always this way - if I'm upset, she is always the first to come and pat my back and tell me it will all be okay. But, at the same time, she deliberately hurts others and disobeys and can be a just plain bully sometimes. "Shoulda been a boy," we say. But honestly, even if she were, it wouldn't make this behavior any more tolerable.
I'm just crossing my fingers that this is just another phase and we are going to live through and forget like it never happened. I can truly say, from the deepest depths of my soul that parenting is the hardest thing I will ever (try) to do. God help me, I hope I'm doing it right.



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1 comment:

Roof said...

Ours is 8 and I just had this talk wiht him this morning