Empathy: The Silver Bullet to Parenting

compassion empathy feelings Nov 07, 2019

Sometimes I just can’t be empathetic to my kids. In fact, I find their meltdowns and upset beyond annoying. All I want to say to them is; “You have got to be kidding me. I don’t have time to listen to your feelings. I am busy. Mommy has things to do!” It is in those moments where I can’t find the empathy; it’s buried in a world of me, me, me! The narcissist in me comes out and says, “Why are you doing this to me? All I do is cook and clean and drive you around, making sure you have the best life I can provide! What’s wrong with you?”

Then I take a breath and remember that the key to this whole parenting thing is empathy. I am an empathetic person, and I do know, from trying everything under the sun with my own kids and from working with others, that empathy is the silver bullet to parenting.

When children feel listened to and understood, their hurt goes away. As adults who know how to regulate our own emotions, we can...

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How Regulating Our Feelings Can Help Us Become a Connected Parent

Don’t take it personally! Really? I just read that the other day, don’t take your child’s anger and “off-track” behavior personally. WHAT? You mean to tell me when my 10-year-old rolls her eyes in the back of her head and says that I don’t know what I am talking about demanding that I leave her room I am not supposed to take it personally? Really?! She is so disrespectful and obviously has NO manners; I don’t even know where she came from.

Science tells us when our kids are “off track” they are no longer relying on the use of their prefrontal cortex (the reasoning center of the brain). They are fully depending on the limbic system (the emotional center of the brain). That means they literally can’t think. Dr. Dan Siegel talks a lot about this in all of his books and he describes it as “flipping your lid.” So instead of getting angry, reprimanding the behavior, lecturing and rupturing the already compromised...

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