Child Empathy Warms My Heart

There are times when my son can surprise me.  I’d always thought that maybe I was doing something wrong since I didn’t understand how to teach child empathy.  On one hand, I recognize that toddler behavior requires a certain amount of being self-absorbed… but on the other hand, I knew that child empathy skills would be invaluable when dealing with peers.  I just didn’t get how to pass this skill set on.

Child Empathy

Sometimes, this little face can make the day seem so much brighter.

I started out the day on a rough note: Eudora was screeching into the baby monitor.  It was 6:15 am.  She stopped, but I couldn’t get back to sleep.  Then there were computer issues and a whole host of other things driving me crazy, including kids with runny noses, screaming Eudora, barking dogs, and my phone pinging like crazy.  The final straw was when I couldn’t find my keys.

I sat down in the hallway and buried my face in my hands.  I was just done.  I couldn’t handle anything else.  Too many things were going wrong at once and I had zero help since my husband was off to work.  I just wanted to cry.  Even my sort of break (also known as “preschool”) was going down the tubes.

Norton saw me and wandered down the hall to where I was essentially hiding.  He patted me on the head and said, “What’s wrong, Mommy?  It’ll be okay.”  That little bit of child empathy was what I needed.  When I looked up at him, he gave me a hug and some kisses… then some more cuddles.  Those cuddles were precisely what I needed.  It was just a little bit of calm, quiet affection.

It didn’t resolve everything that had been bothering me.  It didn’t make the morning magically straighten out.  But what that bit of child empathy did do was that, for just a couple of minutes, I felt better.

Has your child ever surprised you with a bit of unexpected empathy?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

Comments

  1. I remember those days like it was yesterday. Even though my kids are in college now (I have 5 of my very own 🙂 I understand the frustration that comes with motherhood. But those moments when a child expresses empathy, that is when I know that all that I have done to be the best example I could be pays big dividends. Kids are sponges, I like to say. They take in a lot and not all of it is necessarily good. But when they show the gentler side of life, I relish and treasure those moments like you have done.

  2. I remember those days like it was yesterday. Even though my kids are in college now (I have 5 of my very own 🙂 I understand the frustration that comes with motherhood. But those moments when a child expresses empathy, that is when I know that all that I have done to be the best example I could be pays big dividends. Kids are sponges, I like to say. They take in a lot and not all of it is necessarily good. But when they show the gentler side of life, I relish and treasure those moments like you have done.

  3. Doesn’t unexpected empathy just warm your heart? Destructo patted my cheek one day when I was crying and it was just so sweet of him. Thanks for linking up with the Tuesday baby link up. Hope to see you again this week.

  4. Doesn’t unexpected empathy just warm your heart? Destructo patted my cheek one day when I was crying and it was just so sweet of him. Thanks for linking up with the Tuesday baby link up. Hope to see you again this week.

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