The other day I posted the following story on my Facebook wall:
Princess and I grabbed a bite at McD's. The cashier screamed at Princess and kept jerking her head around. She apologized to my
daughter several times for scaring her and told me that she thought Princess was cute.
Later I told Princess that I thought this young woman had Tourettes as
her odd behaviors kept happening. I really felt for this gal. Turns out
my daughter did too. She told me that she worried
that this gal might not have any friends because of her behaviors. I
explained what tics were and how the gal could not control them. I asked Princess if she would like to pray for her. She told me that she
already had. Made me want to cry right there. Then I told her that
maybe when there were no customers, she could go over and tell the
cashier that she had prayed for her and that she knew what it was like
to be different. Princess did so and even called her over to speak to
her privately so as not to embarrass her. I would love to share this
story with those professionals who told me that my child lacked empathy
Suffice to say that over 50 people "liked' this story. It also garnered many comments from friends who either know my daughter or have experienced something similar in their lives. That being said, I decided to fill in the missing details. I specifically want to share with you, my readers, what the circumstances were that led some professionals ( ie. administrators) to come to the conclusion that my child lacked compassion.
When Princess was in preschool, she would occasional get aggressive with other children. We were blessed in that the school decided to let her continue there but the director did warn my husband and I that she saw something very wrong with our child. There was one time when Princess bit another child's finger quite hard. Since it did not appear that Princess had remorse, this administrator said that she lacked compassion and empathy. Later when I talked with my then 4 year old daughter about the incident, she told me that she didn't know what to say. She was kind of embarrassed. She also told me that the other child had asked her to bite her finger.
A year later when Princess was in Kindergarten, we started to see more aggression at school and at home. One day the playground supervisor told her to get off of the jungle gym. In her mind she had only been playing for just a short while so she didn't think it was time to get off. In her frustration she kicked several of her classmates as they walked by. The principal of the school suspended her for this action and for refusing to get off of the jungle gum. At our parent meeting that day, this principal also told us that she felt that our daughter lacked compassion.
That brings me to the day at Mc Donald's. I have seen Princess display aggression on numerous occasions but that doesn't mean she lacks compassion. She has shown me and others that she does have compassion and empathy for that matter. She does care about how others feel. One thing that is hard for her to understand is how her actions can affect others. I'm not sure where this comes from or what it called. Nonetheless I do know that my daughter cares very deeply for others.
So there you have it. My "Behind the Headlines" story. I hope you enjoyed it.
Stay tuned for future blog posts- Crying Wolf or Raising Robin Williams? Which one do you want to read next?