Is it possible to teach someone empathy, sensativity to the feelings of others, or sympathy? I ask because our youngest daughter (of six children), who is 13 years old, isn’t and it’s troubling to DH and I.
A couple of small examples:
She and my son started high school last week. At the bus stop, there was another girl starting as well, who just moved in two houses down from us. My daughter did not speak, introduce herself, welcome the girl to the neighborhood or anything! I felt like she should have at least said hello and made small talk since they will be catching the bus together, live so close, and the other girl is new to the area. When I talked to my daughter about why she should have been the one to take the initiative, she just didn’t get it. The next day she still did not speak to the girl!!
A few years ago, a friend of hers was spending the night. They were talking about typical girl stuff when my daughter said “well, you’re not the prettiest girl in the world”. :eek: I was mortified!
It’s almost as as though my daughter is a real life version of that movie Mean Girls and I don’t have a clue how she became that way! All five of our other children are naturally considerate of the feelings of others and she just doesn’t have a clue. We’ve taught by example as well as having direct conversations with her about this topic since she doesn’t seem to pick it by social clues.
Other than this one issue, she’s an academically bright, well mannered young adult. It’s when she’s around her peers that this side of her personality comes out. She’s the youngest child, so she’s had the benefit of seeing all of her older siblings demonstrate socially appropriate behavior. :::clueless:::
Is it too late for her to learn? How do you teach these things, which to me, are a reflection of your character and therefore should come somewhat naturally yet be developed as your social experiences broaden? How can I help her?