Years ago, I did a strengths-finder test and Empathy was one of my top 5 strengths. I never really thought much about it but I’ve come to realised that perhaps my role in the Company was a good fit being Ms Empathetic and all.
Fast forward to now with Bubba in our lives, we’ve come to realised that Bubba is also quite the Little Miss Empathy. Perhaps coupled with some activities that they teach in school (can empathy really be taught) or perhaps she has taken the cues from me as her mom, she is quite the caring little child.
For instance, on her recent Tokyo trip with her dad, when she sees him carrying her on the stroller up those long flight of stairs in the tube, she would ask her Daddy, “Are you ok? Daddy is so poor thing.” When she sees me coughing, she would often pat my chest gently and ask “Mummy, are you ok?“
And according to her teachers in school, when Bubba sees her friends crying, she would usually go up to them to ask them not to cry. If the wailing doesn’t stop, she would end up joining them as if feeling their pain.
Interestingly, while googling I found this article:
One of the most important skills we can teach our kids is empathy. Empathy is the ability to see and value what another person is feeling or experiencing. When we see someone in pain and feel that response in our own gut, that’s empathy. When we see someone crying tears of joy at an important reunion and notice ourselves choking up, that’s empathy. When we see someone struggling with a problem and feel an emotional pull to help, that’s empathy. It’s a core skill for what psychologists call “pro-social” behavior – the actions that are involved in building close relationships, maintaining friendships, and developing strong communities. It appears to be the central reality necessary for developing a conscience, as well.
Raising empathetic kids might seem like a challenging task, but kids are empathetic by nature and I hope you, my little Bub would never lose sight of this.