"A child without rules is like a fish out of water. "

Teen has no empathy

Question

Our teen is quick to criticize other's reactions instead of just taking care of the matter at hand. Here is a prime example: she accidentally knocks an item off the shelf. I let out a gasp with the realization that something I treasure may be broken. Other than that, I am calm, but am waiting for what I would think would be a normal response of perhaps, "Oh, gosh, I'm so sorry, let me see if I can help fix that." Instead she immediately goes into the attack mode and says with disdain, "it's just a (insert the item of the week), you're so over-reactive." I tell her that her reaction is the inappropriate one and whether or not she values the object, once she sees someone else does, then she needs to respect that and do what she can to help. Her response is we should respect the fact that she finds it stupid to be upset over material objects and it goes downhill from there. Her reaction is the same even if our dog runs out and her little sister is scared he'll get hurt. No offer to help, just a critique of her sister's reaction. All these instances would be so easily diffused with a word of compassion and act of kindness but we are at a loss how to get there.

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