How to Raise an Empathic, Caring Kid--It's Harder Than it Used to Be
so very interesting, wow.
If you don't risk anything, you risk even more. Erica Jong
I think there is a contradiction in that article. At first she says she was irked about her sons behavior and was trying to convince him his fit was a problem, that he should want the playdate to go well more than want to play the Wii. Then later she mentions the importance of acknowledging and responding with warmth to a child's feelings, and getting a child to express his emotions freely as an important way to model and teach empathy. I wonder if she considered those points next time her son has a feeling she doesn't like.
Overall I guess I can see that maybe kids today are less empathetic, but I don't think that means they are doomed to stay that way. I think it could be that childhood is extending a bit. So I think it was more likely to be self-supporting by age 18 or 22 back when I was I was growing up, and now kids might be not be self-supporting until 22-24 on average. Not across the board but in general, I think the average age of self-sufficiency is getting later. We see this in child support laws, where divorced parents are being made to support their children until well into their 20s in some states, health insurance is being extended to cover adult children, and we are marrying and having children later too. So if we compared the 22 yo of the 1980s with the 25 yo today, would they have similar empathy? Is it developmental, in that we outgrow our childhood self-centeredness or if you lack empathy when you get to college is that it, you saw too many video games so you are doomed? I vote it's developmental, and the developmental timeline has shifted.
how is the link a contradiction?
The fit was a chance to be empathetic, thereby modeling it for her child (could be after the fit). Instead, she writes an article painting her son in a bad light and is seemingly still irked about his behavior, and asks readers if their own kids are empathetic enough. I think she's missing the boat here, skipping over a teaching opportunity thinking she is already supposed to be near the finish line.
"It is said that men may not be the dreams of the Gods, but rather that the Gods are the dreams of men."