Have you ever met a person who has no capacity for empathy? I have a friend that absolutely cannot understand how others can have a different opinion that she does. I don’t like crafts. I’m telling you, she absolutely thinks I am brain deficient because I don’t enjoy cutting out little tiny color coordinated pieces of paper for a scrapbook.
Truth is, many of our children are like my friend, making them appear insensitive, stubborn, or even dense. One of my boys, in particular, has little capacity for feeling. We’ve tried to foster a bit of sensitivity in him in several ways. First of all, we often ask, “How do you suppose he is feeling?”. This highlights the fact that others do have feelings, and makes our child aware of how his actions or words might affect another. We also try to point out the distinction between opinion and fact. “Soft shell crab is gross!” is an opinion. There is no use arguing over that particular point; there is no right or wrong position.
Finally, as he’s gotten older, we’ve been really blunt (insensitive) in pointing out his insensitivities. We’ve tried to make him aware of his has shortcomings, hoping that by the time he gets married, he’ll be able to show some compassion to my future daughter in law!