A cute moment at the preschool today. Do you think empathy is taught? Or just beat out of many people due to bad life experiences?

@TheHorse (160524)
Walnut Creek, California
September 20, 2022 5:07pm CST
My autistic friend Keke was crying this morning because someone had beat him to his favorite Big Truck (about 20" long) and was driving it around outside. Another of my good friends, Gabriel, saw him and brought him a smaller truck, hoping it would calm him. Gabriel is all of 20-months old. He is an "older" 1-year-old. Keke rejected the offer, but I praised the younger child for offering the smaller truck to Keke. The younger child and l are also "attached." He loves throwing things, and I get him to throw soft things when were are inside. When we are outside, we play catch with a squishy ball. He is old enough to imitate my behaviors, and I believe he does so, both when it comes to throwing balls and helping sad or angry children by giving them something to soothe them. But I also believe that "empathy." is something that is in our genetic makeup. It just has to be nurtured. What are your thoughts on the nature v. nurture of empathy, one of the most basic things I teach?
16 people like this
12 responses
@JudyEv (287146)
• Rockingham, Australia
21 Sep
Certainly some children seem to be more naturally empathetic than others. Our youngest was very caring in many ways.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (160524)
• Walnut Creek, California
21 Sep
My "girlfriend" Emily is now in Pre-Kindergarten and I miss her. One of the things we would discuss when we talked (when she was four) was "what she was like when she was little." When she was 1 1/2, sitting in my lap with a book, and another toddler wobbled over to join the party, her reaction was very straightforward. She would punch the other child and say "Mine!" More recently, when we would discuss "the old days." she would say, "I didn't know how to share when I was little. But I do now." I love "intellectual" conversations with 4-year-olds. The become "templates" for later conversations.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (160524)
• Walnut Creek, California
21 Sep
@JudyEv I do. I love them. I wonder what percentage of Americans look forward to work every day.
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@JudyEv (287146)
• Rockingham, Australia
21 Sep
@TheHorse Toddlers are just the greatest. You must have lots of these great conversations.
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@RubyHawk (71571)
• Atlanta, Georgia
21 Sep
I think most kids are caring but there’s always the odd one out. Maybe it’s the way parents treat the child.
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@TheHorse (160524)
• Walnut Creek, California
21 Sep
@RubyHawk I have seen some bad parents. Sadly, I have seen some bad ECE teachers too.
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@TheHorse (160524)
• Walnut Creek, California
21 Sep
I think that treatment by parents is a major factor.
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@RubyHawk (71571)
• Atlanta, Georgia
21 Sep
@TheHorse I have seen some bad parents.
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@celticeagle (137150)
• Boise, Idaho
20 Sep
I have made it a house rule in my house that there is no yelling, throwing, or wrestling inside the house. Those are outdoor activities only. Empathy needs to be nurtured indeed. It also needs to be seen in adult role modeling.
2 people like this
@celticeagle (137150)
• Boise, Idaho
23 Sep
@TheHorse ........They need to have that in their lives.
@TheHorse (160524)
• Walnut Creek, California
21 Sep
I am glad you have acknowledged that "wrestling" is OK, but that there's a time and a place for it. Kids love learning "rules."
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (160524)
• Walnut Creek, California
22 Sep
I'll add: people are going to get hurt, and cry, when young kids wrestle. But they're not going to die. I'm OK with "natural consequences."
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@wolfgirl569 (61502)
• Marion, Ohio
21 Sep
Some seem more natural than others. But all have it to some degree
2 people like this
@TheHorse (160524)
• Walnut Creek, California
21 Sep
I think so too.
2 people like this
@RasmaSandra (58084)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
20 Sep
That is just wonderful I am glad the child thought of that. Some things come naturally to children but then others are taught right by their parents or grandparents. I remember a very long time ago a Latvian grandma whose grandkids were small then she would teach them when giving something to others not to say here as in here take it but to say please when presenting the item,
2 people like this
@TheHorse (160524)
• Walnut Creek, California
21 Sep
True empathy, to me, means giving something and expecting nothing back.
2 people like this
@noni1959 (8809)
• United States
21 Sep
I believe it's in our genetics but can evolve either way by environment. No doubt, Gabriel is being nurtured well at home.
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@TheHorse (160524)
• Walnut Creek, California
21 Sep
That is my thought as well. I have met both his mommy and daddy and they both seem like delightful people.
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@noni1959 (8809)
• United States
23 Sep
@TheHorse I love hearing this. Many don't raise their children with manners nowadays.
@kaylachan (37488)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
20 Sep
I do think everyone is capable of it. And, it's natural. It just needs to be encouraged.
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@TheHorse (160524)
• Walnut Creek, California
21 Sep
I agree.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (409251)
• Switzerland
21 Sep
I think that empathy is genetic. You can teach empathy, it could evolve, but it does not work all the time.
@Fleura (21693)
• United Kingdom
21 Sep
I'm not sure, some children certainly seem to have an innate empathy that many other people lack!
@aninditasen (9360)
• Raurkela, India
21 Sep
Empathy is something genetic. Not all children have this quality. However empathy can be nutured in a child.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (160524)
• Walnut Creek, California
22 Sep
I should do some reading on the genetics of empathy. I am sure some twin and adoptions studies have been done about it. Nature and nurture are often difficult to tease apart.
@LindaOHio (104159)
• United States
21 Sep
I think whatever empathy a child has naturally can be heightened by what is taught in the school and at home.
@SonjaRae (15084)
• United States
22 Sep
I believe that YOU have such a deep connection and understanding! I applaud and am so inspired by your experiences.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (160524)
• Walnut Creek, California
22 Sep
I admit that I am good at what I do. Maybe I'll post about my interactions with Keke today later.
1 person likes this
@SonjaRae (15084)
• United States
22 Sep
@TheHorse I am glad that you recognize and admit your innate ability to connect with these children! I shall look for a post later.