Monday, March 27, 2017

Instilling Empathy

One of my goals as a parent was to make sure my kids felt empathetic towards others. 

I think it's safe to say that they both are empathetic towards friends, teachers and family too. They still have "me" time, which is important as well.

Looking back, that's kind of an odd goal. Seeing how some people are towards one another today it's a great parent goal to have though.

Mica is very self directed. For awhile I think Isaak could have be pushed down, and Mica would not of even noticed. I think that's why Isaak's both sweet and sour. If he's played with he's sweet. If Isaak's messed with - watch out!

Isaak has a harder time taking "me" time than Mica does. He relies on others to make him happy.

I make my kids play together at times.

Mica pulled this thing last year where he didn't want to play outside with Isaak. I had to push him out the door. Then Isaak would come in and say, "Mica won't play with me because he's pretending that he's blind and deaf." I had to go to the door and yell out, "MICA play with your brother! Stop pretending to be blind and deaf!" Mica would yell back, "You told me to play. I'm playing!" I'd yell back, "Play superheroes, basketball, or throw a ball back and forth, but don't play blind and deaf!" The neighbor's probably thought we were crazy!

This year they go outside with boxing gloves, or foam light sabers and fight. It's their form of play. I'm just glad Mica will go outside with Isaak.


I checked out the book Wonder for the 2nd time. Mica read it once already. Now Mica and I are taking turns reading it to Isaak. Isaak will read to us too. It's just that the book is a little long for Isaak. Plus he's still not sure what he thinks about books without pictures.

If you've never read Wonder it's a must read! By the end of the book you'll have empathy towards Auggie - a boy that has face deformities, his sister, his friend, and even Julian - the boy that bullies him.

The book is so different because the author R. J. Palacio gives the reader the perspective of each main character. I've almost started crying 2 or 3 times, while reading it. 

Wonder is being turned into a full length movie starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, which play Auggie's parents. 

Isaak's seems to be enjoying the book!

I had an odd thought this weekend. 

Do you believe that we're all born innately good? I do. I think we're born without prejudice, and biases. Possibly all those that are miserable, murder, threaten, and society labels as "evil" were once good.

Maybe all those that struggle deeply in this thing called "life" were abused/traumatized some time. I'm not say all criminals were were abused. If you look at criminal's backgrounds I bet you anything that the majority were traumatized verbally, physically, and/or sexually. Many were probably in foster care, and a lot were raised by a single worn out parent.

I'm not saying that we should let evil acts go. One that has gone through abuse could pick themselves back up, and make a go at life, while others don't have it in them. I'm just saying that I wish that the negative cycle in some families would stop.

Possibly maybe that one kid in that family just needed a good friend, someone that would stand up for him or here, mentor or teacher in their life that changed that negative cycle into a positive one.

What are your thoughts on showing empathy towards others?


Theresa Mahoney said...

I do think most of us are born good. I think those who make questionable decisions have to look back on their upbringing. Maybe not necessarily how their parents raised them, maybe they fell with the wrong crowd? I also think some could have a chemical imbalance that alters their perception of right and wrong, therefore they don't fall in the "born good" category.

An Apel a Day said...

You most certainly brought up a few great points Theresa.

I have a sister that's adopted. We're super different. Neither of us is bad, just different. Genetics certainly makes up how we are.

I've watched good students fall in with students that don't try as hard. Who you hang out with makes up what you're like as well.

~ Noelle said...

Broxton's school has key words they work on each month. Empathy is a big one. Another is moral courage.


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