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At what age is a child mature enough to feel compassion?

I don't know if I asked that correctly, so I'll explain.
My dd has a friend (7). And when you listen to their conversations while playing I always find her trying to top what my daughter said. When they both got a goodie, it's like " Yeah, but I got this and that as well" or "I got THREE of them!"
Or when we've been on a day out together and she tells her friend, the other girl goes: "Yes, but we've been here and there (something muuuuch better of course)
Just now they were talking about Sinterklaas (the dutch Santa) and the girl said to my dd: "Maybe you won't get anything. You might think so, but you don't know. But he'll come to my house!" As you can imagine I had to dry some tears after that.
I grew up in a big family and even today I love GIVING presents almost more then receiving them. It's so exciting to see the other person opening it up! (2 B cont.)


Asked by BeachMom81 at 10:20 AM on Nov. 14, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (4)
  • My DD has always been compassionate. As long as i can remember, she has always put others feelings first, sometimes to a fault. She has friends like that also. She is 8, almost 9 & now realizes that maybe this girl really isn't her best friend. She is also always trying to one-up her. And she has the nerve to tell my DD if she thinks something she has, or something she is wearing is ugly! She has hurt DD many times. I think she is also insecure, it always seems like she wants to be the better one. I think she is jealous of my DD honestly.

    Some kids have compassion, some kids don't. Some kids learn how to be compassionate through life's experiences & some learn to be selfish.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 10:40 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • So I was wondering ... When does the "ME! Me! Me! - age" stop and they learn to be happy for one another? I think that's a big thing in friendship.

    P.S. They get along really well, by the way. Almost can't be one day without each other. (despite age difference: 7 and 3)

    Comment by BeachMom81 (original poster) at 10:23 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • Lots of times the child making the most "noise" is the most insecure in a setting and they need to feel superior. I wouldn't hesitate to say something like, "isn't it wonderful that everyone has one" , "of course he goes to everyone's house", "you are both very special" etc. The age difference is big enough that your daughter needs a little "reinforcement"

    Answer by elizabr at 10:28 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • ITA with elizabr and there is a good chance that the 7yr old may never grow out of it, I know adults who act the same way. It just depends on her upbringing and if she has older siblings that treat her that way.

    Answer by AshleyBishop06 at 10:32 AM on Nov. 14, 2010