Friday, August 19, 2011

Fresh Fridays

Dictionary definition of empathy

empathy [em-puh-thee]

  1. the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. 
  2. the imaginative ascribing to an object, as a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself

Jadon's definition of empathy

empathy [em-puh-thee]
  1. inflicting one's self to the point of having the same, if not close to, the same experience as another
  2. the act of maintaining all attention on one's self, despite what others individuals may be experiencing

Empathy is a difficult concept to grasp, especially for a 2 year old.  Although Jadon has shown some signs of being able to empathize with others... he has clearly not arrived at a solid understanding.  

The funniest example so far happened earlier this week when Andy bumped his head (very hard) on the edge of the bathroom sink.  Jadon was also in the bathroom and heard Andy's grimmacing and saw him holding his head in pain.  Did Jadon ask if Daddy was okay?  Nope.  Instead he thought it best to walk over to the sink and purposely bang his head into it.  Of course this was followed with forced moans and groans and rubbing his head saying, "That hurt."  

So, if you didn't quite understand Jadon's definitions of empathy, go back and read them again.  We're still trying to figure out he is portraying the innocence of the first of his definitions, or the self-centeredness of the second.  Either way, it's hard not to chuckle a little when your mimicking two year old is willing to bring slight harm to himself as a means of empathizing with another.  Don't worry.  We keep all knives, scissors, and power tools far from these little hands.  Hopefully this kind of empathizing goes no further than this!  

~ Carrie ~

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