Friday, May 28, 2010

Failing to teach empathy

According to a new study, today's college students lack the empathy that college students 20 and 30 years ago had. They scored a shocking 40 percent lower than their elders.

Why do you think this is? In my opinion, those responsible for teaching empathy to children are their parents...and blame for this lack of empathy is to be laid right at the parents' feet.

Many children today are given anything they wish for...without learning about people who are less fortunate. I've heard horror stories from teachers about parents who defend their children no matter what they do and refuse to hear constructive feedback about their kids.

Here are some tips about how to teach empathy to children. Although I would like to believe that my children are empathetic and care about others, I always see room for improvement...they are kids! 

For Kieran's first communion recently, we gave him this book--Have You Filled a Bucket Today? It's a great way to explain to children how their words and deeds can either help others or hurt their feelings. Kieran seemed to really get it. It's basically the new millennium version of "warm fuzzies." Did you ever learn that story as a child?

How empathetic are you compared to the college students? You can take this quiz to find out.

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