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With Kids’ Empathy on the Decline, Books and Talking Help

Education News – Grace Smith

“Parents know what it’s like when their child does something wrong and they try to get the youngster to apologize. The child usually refuses to do so, but finally might get a very soft “sorry”out, which by no means conveys empathy and was said to get the parents off their backs. Kelly Wallace of CNN writes that parents seem to be unable to find a way to have their children learn from the incident, make sure the children do not repeat the offense, and have the kids empathize with the other person. CNN asked parents to act out how they would manage these encounters and had a parenting expert listen to their interaction and give some feedback. One Atlanta mom said that if anyone bothers her son’s Lego creations, he can become explosive. His reaction is based on what he sees as someone coming into his space, so he does not understand why he should apologize. Trying to get him to apologize for his tantrum in that moment, she added, is just futile. Erik Fisher, a psychologist, and co-author of The Art of Empowered Parenting: The Manual You Wish Your Kids Came With, said this mother should help her son calm down by talking to him in a quiet voice and asking him how he might be able to show his friend that he was sorry.”(more)

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