Is empathy a trait that has to be learned in young children?
Is empathy, the feeling that I "feel your pain" a trait learned in young children, or is this characteristic innate? If a child seems to be acting out in ways that are hurtful to siblings and parents, what can be done to teach this important characteristic? At what age should parents expect children to understand the cause and effect of their behavior towards a sibling (e.g. kicking, hitting, tripping, etc.)
Empathy is truly being able to feel what someone else feels. The characteristic certainly is not innate. You can't empathize with someone who has broken their arm unless you too have broken your arm. You can sympathize with that person.
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