Friday, July 11, 2008

Empathy comes naturally to children: study | Science | Reuters

Empathy comes naturally to children: study | Science | Reuters:
"CHICAGO (Reuters) - When children see others in pain, their brains respond as if it were happening to them, U.S. researchers said on Friday.

This response, which also has been shown in adults, suggests that normal school-age children may be naturally prone to empathy, they said.

'What it shows us is that we have this inborn capacity to resonate with the pain of others. That's probably a very important step toward empathy,' said Jean Decety of the University of Chicago, whose study appears in the journal Neuropsychologia. ..."
When children are baptized in our congregation, a prayer is delivered that, among other petitions, asks God to "... grant [him|her] a quick concern for others. ..."

I have thought for a long time that children are born with that "quick concern for others", having seen not only my own son grow from a newborn infant to a boy who is fast approaching manhood, but a fair number of others in his age group.

Perhaps the Lord has already granted that prayer. It is up to us as parents to reinforce what children seem to be born with, because it seems to be be a behavior that dwindles over time.

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