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Why aren’t children empathetic?

Sometimes, thanks to observation, we can identify that there are children who are not so empathetic with the people around them. Sometimes, when it comes to our children, we wonder what is happening or what may be due, this is because we consider that we have done everything in our power to achieve the opposite. In this article, we will talk about some possible answers to the question of why children are not empathetic as we would like.

1. Changes in the environment.

This is one of the main reasons why children tend to change their attitude in general, seeming less empathetic to the people around them, but what is really happening is that they are in a process of adapting to their new environment.

Although the change is small, for them it can be big; it is then that we must approach them and begin to be empathetic now ourselves: Learn from their way of keep up with the situation,, if this lack of empathy is due to an expression of their emotions, because they want to express their anger, etc. or that he is simply taking time to think things over.

It is possible that once you adapt or talk and work out between you two a plan to work on your discomforts, your way of being will return to normal.

2. Lack of socialization spaces.

Empathy is part of our learning, the only way to develop it is in practice, to be with other different people. Many times at home this type of space is left aside to be empathetic because it is taken for granted.

Although in part you learn by example, it is necessary that you can know other means different from him or her, this will allow you to meet with cultural clashes that will help you develop your empathy. It is important to explain that many times it is easier to understand the people with whom you live, who share the same values because there is nothing that bothers you; but it is not the same to begin to respect another completely different person, who has conditions that in life he imagined.

3. Age issues.

Until the approximate age of 4 years, children can present what they call egocentrism.

This does not mean that they are bad or ill-mannered. It is a question of adaptation to the world.

They are concerned about understanding and surviving in their midst. Of course, this, although it is due to age, can be counteracted by the modeling of the actions that we consider to be empathetic and we want to learn, as well as establishing rules of coexistence and socialization.

4. Little knowledge of your emotions.

In order for a child to be able to identify emotions in another person or be respectful when presenting them, he must first understand himself. If the child does not yet appreciate the importance of emotions, he will not be able to develop empathy so easily. He may even come to belittle what the other feels, because of this lack of knowledge, so we must help him learn about his functionality and how to identify those emotions.


5. You are given the reason for everything.

On many occasions to avoid fighting with children or because we believe they cannot yet understand other points of view, they are given the reason for everything. This can lead the child to believe that the only possible reality or truth is the one he has. This can work at home but once you are away, living with other children, you can develop problems when developing social skills.

We recommend that you do not impose your point of view of things on him either, but teach him to enter into a dialogue. Try to make it aimed at listening to the other and being able to understand it, even if you do not agree. Reach middle ground, and negotiate with them from a young age. This way they will be not only empathetic but also independent.

6. It does not find a utility.

This is very common, you are asked to be empathetic for example when your little friend did not reach sweets from the piñata and he or she has many. It is true that at first glance, thinking about giving him one of his sweets will not be pleasant, on the contrary, he will see more disadvantages than advantages in being empathetic. It is then that we can go from little to little; Maybe analyze the situation imagine with the context of the other she or he how he or she would feel at that moment; if it will really affect him a lot to give him a candy, see everything and focus especially on the social advantages that this has.

The opportunity to form bonds, compare experiences, etc. is usually difficult with the little ones and requires a whole process that requires more time and patience.

7. He had bad experiences.

Being exposed to bad experiences, as in adults, can lead them to modify their attitudes. High expectations when they do something. For example, let’s imagine that he gave the child a sweet and after this, they made another piñata where he or she now got nothing and the child with whom he shared a palette does not want to give him anything or then they fight for something else and the insults arrive, etc. In this sense, their empathic attitude may become more selective or null. It’s understandable, but just being there to support is the important thing.

Empathy will allow them to see that it is not something personal, but that looking closely they can understand their attitude and that it is not obligatory to do so either, that it is a question that magnifies those who do it and that although it will not always have good results if there will be some very satisfactory. Also at the same time, we can provide them with the learning of their rights and limits, so that they do not leave damaged in the interactions.

We hope this article will help you to know a little more about some of the reasons why a child may be unempathetic; It should be noted that each child is different and may be going through different circumstances, and that is why the first step to find out is to get close to our kid.

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