Empathy can be expressed on a spectrum, and how a child responds to a given situation may depend on a range of different complex psychological and child development issues.
What picture, or metaphor comes to mind, when you think of Empathy? A waiting outstretched hand, a mother stooping down to kiss a child’s scraped knee, a silent long embrace at the end of a funeral service? It’s different for different people because empathy by its very nature is uniquely personal. Indeed it requires a courageous leap of compassion to enter into another’s personal world and imaginatively experience what that person is going through. Little wonder many of us are reluctant to go further than the sympathetic smile; true empathy involves vulnerability.
by Stephen Carrick-Davies