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To wonder how much empathy is normal?

(8 Posts)
museumum Sun 24-May-20 21:35:11

How much empathy do you honestly think is normal for a 6 nearly 7 year old?

Everyone I know IRL says their 6/7 year old is so empathetic they are always aware of all the feelings of all their peers and put their peers feelings first before their own at all times.

My ds seems often oblivious. Really sometimes struggles to imagine somebody else’s feelings.
Thankfully he’s naturally neither mean nor violent but I’m not sure that’s because of consideration of others’ feelings, more that he just doesn’t enjoy being violent or unkind.

How much empathy is normal at this age? Is my ds somehow behind in this area? If so what can/should I do?

OP’s posts: |
ohmyword20 Sun 24-May-20 21:39:40

Sounds normal to me. I've got 3 dcs in and around that age. They tend to show empathy when it suits them. They do have it in them but it's not a case of naturally letting it drive them.

SickOfLockdown Sun 24-May-20 21:39:58

I don’t think it’s abnormal at all, we all develop at different stages. Besides some parents talk out of their arses Op! I’ve been struggling to wean my 9 month old & someone told me their 9 month old was eating steak & potty trained by 12 months! “Oh do fuck off” grin

Your DS is fine

FOJN Sun 24-May-20 21:40:13

I can't answer your question but I am worried that parents are boasting about their children putting others feelings before their own every single time, those children will be very vulnerable to emotional manipulation which is not healthy. Consideration for others is great and highly desirable, ALWAYS putting others first, not so much.

speakout Sun 24-May-20 21:41:40

I don't think there is a "normal".

Children are just people, and can range from extremely empathic to having little empathy.

I am not sure that empathy can be taught, but we can learn strategies - as your son has dne to avoid hurting others.
Being too empathic is challenging also, thinking too much of the feelings of others can be overwhelming.

waaahhh Sun 24-May-20 21:42:55

I was at a baby group once and a mum was screaming at her toddler to share. I always remember the health visitor saying that children are instinctively selfish and self centred until they're 7/8. Not the same as showing empathy but maybe it's a similar age that they start developing those emotions

CherryPavlova Sun 24-May-20 21:43:32

It’s a big ask for a six year old. They should have some empathy that means they understand kicking someone hurts or calling someone nasty names might upset them. They certainly haven’t got fully developed empathy which increases from about aged seven to twelve or thirteen.
Many parents will be telling their children to be empathetic and then thinking they have the skill. It’s unlikely a six year old can genuinely imagine how someone else might feel about a situation they haven’t experienced.

museumum Sun 24-May-20 21:52:26

What about “I want to play with X not Y” and then you ask “how do you think that makes Y feel?”

OP’s posts: |

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