Why we don’t care about each other

If you sometimes feel as if people don’t care about each other anymore, you’re not entirely wrong.

Drop in empathy

According to a study performed a few years back among college students, they displayed a drastic drop in empathy.  One can only assume that the situation is even worse by now.

Narcissism

A new selfishness is on the rise and narcissism seems to be becoming an epidemic. Narcissists are people who believe the world revolves around them and they are unable to identify with the needs of others at all.

If they need you

Certain individuals only appear to “care” for your needs, when they feel they need you and you are directly able to alleviate their burdens. If their need for you is diminished or others step in to fill the gap, their concern will soon be a thing of the past.

What’s killing our empathy?

It’s a sad fact of the hectic modern world that we have very little time for our children and that some parents are almost never home, often because they have to work. If you have no time for yourself and you are almost always tired, it diminishes your capacity to care for the needs of others. You also don’t have time to really get to know your children and their changing needs.

Lack of time

Then there’s the drastic drop in time for unstructured free play among children. Their schedules are full from an early age – they have to excel at school and extra-mural activities. The study work load is ever increasing. Children also don’t really have time anymore to get to know each other in a relaxed environment, which in turn encourages them to really care about each other.

Parents

As a parent, I aim to teach my children the value of empathy and I think it is important that we realise humans are connected and that we need each other. The world will be a healthier place if people are kinder to each other, like the MacDonald’s employee in Chicago, who closed his till to assist and feed an elderly, disabled customer, who asked him for help.

Teaching empathy to my little terrorist

I watched the little man play with a bug in the bath last night. Once he was finished playing with it and forgot about the poor creature, he kicked it to death before I could rescue it.

This made me realise that the friend who told me human beings had to learn empathy and that it wasn’t our natural state, was correct.

According to Psychcentral you can teach your children empathy.

Your toddler will learn empathy from your behaviour

Very small children are not yet able to understand how the things they say or do can affect other people’s emotions. The little man doesn’t always seem to understand that it hurts when he pulls my hair or slaps me through the face

Young toddlers and babies will start to learn empathy from the way you as their parent treat them, especially under difficult circumstances, such as when they are upset and throw a tantrum. I do to my best not scream or act upset, though I have the occasional lapse after a hard day at work or a somewhat sleepless night. 😛

 Why it’s important to teach empathy to boys

As a result of gender stereotypes, it is often regarded as not as important for boys to learn empathy. This puts them at a disadvantage at school and in their future careers. Empathy also influences their future happiness, as people with empathy usually have stronger interpersonal connections.

Tips for teaching your child empathy

  1. Talk about feelings, e.g. your sister is sad because you took her doll.
  2. Emphasise with your child. Tell him you will hold his hand if he’s scared of something.
  3. Use “I messages” that will encourage self awareness. I don’t like it when you hit me.
  4. It’s important to be patient and remember that most toddlers are naturally very self-centred. Empathy is a very complex skill.

Even though he can be a terrorist, the little man does show signs of having an empathetic and loving nature. He loves to hug the people (and toys) in his life. If you are really lucky, he may reward you with a kiss. 🙂