Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Raising an Empathetic Child

My son is very bothered by crashes. If he sees a crash in a movie or on a a television show, he talks about it for days. He discovered the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and constantly talks about the car crash at the very beginning of the movie. The first time we saw the movie, he was very upset by the crash. He cried during that beginning crash scene, and talked about it for days afterward. He has since watched it without crying, but continues to talk about it regularly. It's almost as if it is the only thing in the movie that captures his attention. Is this empathy?
One of his friends had a big wheel at the play group last week. His friend crashed on the big wheel, and Timmy went into hysterics. He was so upset by his friend falling over. It took several minutes to calm him down and reassure him that his friend was okay. The very next day he talked about his friend crashing again; he said, "Luke, bike, crash!" A couple of days later, I told him we were going to play group and he brought up the crash again. Is this empathy?
Is this a phase? Is my son particulary sensitive to others' feelings? Do all kids go through this same thing?

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