nearly 6 year old, lack of empathy

(4 Posts)
missusmrs Fri 18-Jul-14 20:50:15

My D's 5.9 has always being a challenge. He is determined strong willed routine based temper filled boy. On other hand he is very smart, clever and creative. He is generally good, knows right from wrong and is a model child at school and childminders.
My worry is his total lack of empathy. He would never comfort anyone hurt, actually laughs if someone falls over, he just seem to 'care'. He has developed a strange with his Bf they have known each other for2 years. His bf is v similar in fiery tempermanent. The past 2 play dates my D's had actively aggravated his bf to loose his temper/crying and enjoyed it. Afterwards DH and I have come down hard on consequence, bedtime stories and treats, but he is only concerned about his loss.we have talked about shoe being on the other foot how his friend feels etc but nothing sinks in. The other day we say a local lost chat poster, we know the family the dd is in his class, when I said they were said as the cat might never come back he laughed!
I feel like I'm failing big time in this huge life skill...how do you instill empathy??? ( ds2 aged 3 has it in spades, rubs mummy's arm if it sore etc etc)

Misfitless Sat 19-Jul-14 09:45:52

*I don't know how you deal with this. But do have experience of children lacking in empathy.

Has he never shown any empathy at all, ever, or could it be a phase?

My children do sometime seem to delight in winding each other up, and sometimes turn a blind eye if one of them gets hurt, but this sounds different, tbh.

Sometimes, my eldest daughter shocks me with her lack of empathy, but I think I'm the opposite, and have too much (!), so I think it is even more shocking to me that it would be to others, iyswim.

It's not that she is completely devoid of empathy,though, just that she was last in the queue when it was being dished out! grin

How is your DS when he hurts himself, feels upset? Does he come to you to comfort him, or for a cuddle? Or is he completely self sufficient? Is he affectionate to you?

Do you have pets? If you do, I think the way they treat pets is quite telling. Though mine can be pretty mean to each other at times, my youngest three adore our dog, and have never, ever been mean to her either verbally or physically. They are very gentle, kind and caring
towards her, and wildlife in general.

My eldest DD can take her or leave her, tbh.

Youngest DD is currently going through a phase of loving winding up her sister. I can see it in her eyes that she loves it. She will also hit her and then when questioned will say things like "But she was annoying me...I didn't hit her that hard! confused.

Sorry for rambling!

throwinshapes Sat 19-Jul-14 09:48:52

Don't worry about it too much. The part if the brain that deals with empathy doesn't begin to develop until around age 7.
It will come smile

Misfitless Sat 19-Jul-14 10:04:54

Is that an average age, throw?

I've seen empathy and acts of extreme young kindness in toddlers, though I realise empathy and kindness are different things.

Maybe I've seen kindness, such as being concerned if someone is upset, or hurt, and thought it was empathy, when it was just being caring?

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