If anything we adults can, and must, learn again the natural empathic ways – from our children’s wisdom and innate intelligence – because sadly, in this society, for most, we have no recall of the detail of our early years, which translates into lack of empathy for our babies,infants and our smallest children, and consequently which damages their empathy (most often unwittingly – this is NOT about blaming parents) because we are fearful when we do not understand, and so we err on the side of control to cover that fear……
Excessive control or lax permissiveness (neglect) is ALWAYS a question of damaged empathy…..
And it is transferred inter-generationally because of this memory gap – for we learn parenting by how we were parented, and if that experience is forgotten at the conscious level, it remains for it is written into our neural pathways….
Luckily the brain is plastic, and we can learn again the ways of empathy, by being WITH our children, by talking with them as real complete yet small people – we can grow together…
Behaviour is NOT genetic, it is mostly environmental. Random Mutation was adopted due to Empire Logic Arrogance, as the model of natural change, whereas we now know and can describe change as an interaction, a response, precise and directed, to changes in the habitat, in the signals the environment sends any living organism – be they bacteria (dealing with anti-bacterial pharmaceuticals…..) or larger organisms…
This a child treated with respect grows to respect him or herself, and a child treated with disdain grows to feel shame and inadequacy…. though it’s not a linear process, and some children respond in offering ways such that for some they survive harshness, and for others the subtle undermines them…. hence the need for empathy in parenting, to spot those oh so subtle differences and not so subtle differences and take them into account…
Education, a homogenising process, makes this all but impossible, and this deepens that lack of empathy….. Religion destroys it almost totally, for it replaces the child’s sense of wonder with and imposed sense….. this is the nature of what Bob Marley called ‘mental slavery’.
Break the Chains, break the cycles.
Google “Poisonous Pedagogy”