Children are not born with empathy. They are born with the capacity to have empathy but it only develops under certain conditions. Parents play a critical role in developing their children's empathy.
In their book, Born for Love: Why Empathy is Essential - and Endangered, Perry and Szalavitz write “The essence of empathy is the ability to stand in another's shoes, to feel what it's like there and to care about making it better if it hurts.” They document numerous cases where children have not experienced adequate empathy while growing up. These kids' behavior towards others also reflects a lack of empathy which often leads to serious problems.
There are three key things you can do to help develop empathy in your children:
(read the rest of the article at Priceless Parenting)