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As Christian parents, we want our children to follow in the compassionate footsteps of Jesus. This study offers parenting advice for raising teenagers with a sense of empathy.
Teaching Empathy
Publication Date:
1/28/2009
Pages:
0
Session(s)
1
Product Type:
Internet Download
Parenting Study
Product Number:
TC8014

How does one learn to be compassionate? Is this an inborn trait, or do we need to actually learn it? Apparently the latter is the case for most of us.

Anyone who works with adolescents can find oneself bothered, at times, by many youths' apparent indifference. Although there are developmental and biological issues that can influence young people to look inward--making them the center of their own universe--most parents long to see their teen be more compassionate.

Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel has written over fifty books and is known for saying that our biggest enemy is indifference, not hate. Wiesel watched thousands of his Jewish friends, neighbors, and family members go to the gas chambers while good people watched with indifference. Recent research on those who did risk their lives to help victims of the Holocaust has shown that those rescuers showed a strong tendency to be moved by pain. Somewhere in their lives, the rescuers had developed the capacity to connect with, and to be moved by, another's pain.

Martha Bettis-Gee is Associate for Child Advocacy in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).


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