My Son’s Very Bad Day

photo (1)Every day, my 5-year old son, X, gives me a lesson in empathy. He is a caring soul who worries about everyone’s well-being and often places other’s needs above his own.

I was particularly touched by a story that my wife shared with me. She picked up X from school one day and immediately sensed something was wrong.

“Today was a bad day,” he said as he sulked in his car seat. My wife looked at him in the rear view mirror and asked what happened.

“Jeffery got into an argument and his feelings were hurt,” he said. “And my other friend was sad because her feelings were hurt too.”

As my wife listened to X describe his day, she realized that nothing bad actually happened to him. Instead, his day was ruined because his friends were hurting.

“Why can’t everyday be a good day like Monday?” He asked. “Nobody’s feelings were hurt on Monday.”

My wife and I marveled at his maturity and compassion. Listening to that heartwarming story made me proud to be his father. My son inspires me to be a better dad and a better person.

I wish I were more like him. A friend’s pain is his pain just as their joy is his joy. But I often find myself being selfish, ambivalent, and ignorant of other people’s feelings. Thankfully, I’m aware of my shortcoming and I’m working on them. I strive to love harder, tear down my walls, and become more attuned to my friends’ and family’s emotions.

I guess I’ll start by telling X how much I love him.

Stay Strong,

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Question: How do your children display compassion?


About author

Frederick J. Goodall

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at or on Twitter at