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My son lacks empathy?? He's 11 year old. He doesn't know what that is

My son has been showing more signs that he has no empathy or emotion. His grandfather passed away a couple of years ago. He showed no remorse.  And he lived with us full time. My son last year went through a loss of a pet that he was with since he was 6moths old..again showed no remorse.  And last year a dear friend of the family passed away. He knew her since he was 2. Im concerned with this bc he also lies alot. What can I do?   Very fustrated
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207091 tn?1337709493
What you are describing is grief, not empathy or remorse.

Has anyone modeled it for him? Explained it to him?

Adults can be very careful to protect children from sadness, so much so that we don't show them our own. We tell them big boys don't cry, etc., and then expect them to show their emotions appropriately.

Also, does he understand death?

If you're concerned, talk to a counselor, and have him evaluated, but it may be something as simple as him not understanding death.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
How do I talk to him about this?? I tried to. But it obviously it didnt work. Yes! He's on a wait list to see psychiatrist through his family doctor.  What are your suggestions to help him through this
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
Here are some ways to talk to your children about death and grieving -

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/death.html

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/24/716702066/death-talking-with-kids-about-the-end

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/two-takes-depression/201612/the-dos-and-donts-talking-child-about-death

https://unityhospice.org/2019/05/14/unity-hospice-children-grieve-too/

https://www.kidsmatterinc.org/child-safety/when-kids-are-victims-of-crime/grief-and-healing/

I wouldn't tell him that you are concerned that he isn't feeling anything. Ask him what he is feeling. Ask him if he misses Grandpa, or if he's sad.  Ask him if he misses his pet - use the name of the pet.  Don't judge the answers. His experiences with Grandpa are different than yours. If Grandpa lived with you because he was ill, that may be what he remembers, not the sweet man who raised you. My nieces and nephews only remember their grandfather as sick, unfortunately. For most of their lives, he was ill. He spent a lot of time with them, but their experiences are different than mine or their mom's.

If the family friend wasn't part of your daily life, or around frequently, he may not understand the loss, or feel it the way you do.

He has also had a lot of loss in a short time. That must be hard for you to deal with as an adult - he's a child, and surely has no idea how to process it all.

Are you still talking about Grandpa? About his pet? Do you say that you miss them? It's okay to let him know that you're sad because you're missing them, and just having a sad moment, and could use a hug. Let him know that if he has sad moments, he can talk to you.

If you're talking about something, or doing something, and it reminds you of them, it's okay to laugh and bring up a story or to say that Grandpa would have loved that, or that Grandpa would be really proud of him, or would have found that really funny.

Everyone grieves differently. If he's not usually vocal about his emotions, don't expect this to be different.

Outside of grief, you can model empathy.

https://www.understood.org/en/articles/9-ways-to-show-empathy-when-your-child-is-struggling

https://www.todaysparent.com/family/3-simple-ways-to-teach-kids-to-have-empathy-for-others/

Talk about how you can help others, how others feel, why others might be struggling and how you can help. If you help a sick neighbor, get him involved in that.

Hope that helps. :)
Avatar universal
May I suggest you take him to a psychologist?   He may have just "walled" himself off to stop the pain he might have to face with the loss of loved ones in such a short span of time.
Helpful - 0

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