Empathy- A Jumpstart to raising children perfectly!
‘Can empathizing parents raise children perfectly?’, might come across as a heavy question but is it really so tough?
When it comes to raising a child by empathizing parents, most of them look for two things…
– The happiness of the child
– Future (economic and social) security
In this article, we are going to look at the happiness part.
More than two-thirds of adults state that they are “extremely concerned” about the well-being of their child. This holds true across genders, ethnicity, or any other affiliations.
Has it ever happened, that you had to give the same set of instruction multiple number times before your kid finally pays attention? Doesn’t it get extremely nerve-wracking!
Sometimes you might have resorted to yelling at them, but that is definitely not the right way around.
With your busy schedule and 100’s of work pending, all you expect from the child is to listen to you. You may feel, the child does not understand your need to be heard, your child is intentionally disturbing your peace.
In this article, I am going to touch on basic parenting tips to help raise a child with more peace and with better empathy from parents.
Empathize with the child and raise them accordingly.
There is a simple difference between – Sympathy, Apathy, and Empathy.
To put it very simply…
Sympathy – Sympathy is when you feel pity or bad for someone’s misfortune. For example, when you see a person depressed, you believe you understand their situation. You agree with the emotional tsunami they are going through. You might even go a step further to say, ‘I would have reacted in the same way had I been a part of a similar situation.’
Apathy – Apathy is when you see someone depressed and feel that they are fools to be sad as the issue is petty and small. Or, you might also think, they are needlessly clamoring for attention. Or, you might also conclude, they have an ulterior motive for this drama.
Empathy – Empathy is when you understand why someone is sad and find a way to lift them out of it. You play a role in helping them come out of the situation. Your focus is not on crying with them (sympathy), nor is it in judging them (apathy), it is in finding a solution and empowering them.
Sympathy and apathy will destroy the child. They will not come out of misery. They will try to justify their situation of being depressed.
Empathizing parents understand their children perfectly.
From a very young age, a child goes through an avalanche of emotions. When they are going through this avalanche, they do not need dialogue or a speech. They need someone who will understand the situation. Empathize with them rather than scolding them. Empathizing parents intently listen to the point of view of the child, even when they feel quite differently.
When you raise a child, you should instill the fact that you trust him. If you can make a child feel that you believe in them, even when they make a mistake, they will learn from it and become better at it.
It is quite common for a child to make mistakes, but judging them is the worst thing you can do as a parent. It will distance you from the child.
When you empathize with your children and send the message of “I connect with you”, by giving them a hug or holding their hand, they will feel reassured. After making a mistake, in the silent chambers of their hearts, your children are already struggling to handle the myriad of emotions that they are experiencing. In those moments, the last thing they need is an, “I told you so”.
Apply the COLT technique.
- C stands for “connect” with their emotions. Understand what they are feeling ‘right now’.
- O stands for being “open-minded” and understand their point of view without judging”.
- L stands for “listen” non-judgmentally despite a difference of opinion.
- T stands for “trust” things will be better.
If a child feels that there is someone back home who understands them and empathizes with them, they will become better human beings.
When you judge a child from their mistakes, there is crudeness, aggression, and negativity in your tone.
On the other hand, when you empathize with the child, there is love, compassion, and patience that makes the child feel closer to you.
When you show confidence in a child, you can make them believe that you are sure they can come out of the mess. You can also assure them that you are ready to help them in whatever way you can. You are empathizing with the child and makes them stronger individuals.
Statements like these are super helpful…
- You are making a lot of sense to me.
- Okay, I think I get it. So what you’re feeling is…
- Tell me what you see as your choices here.
- I see. Let me summarize: What you’re thinking here is…
If your kid is empathetic, half the battle is already won. Teaching a child to be empathetic can be a turning point in their lives. Sit down and have a conversation with the child. Instilling in him a sense of empathy is important.
- While raising a child, it is of utmost importance that you listen to the child when he/she is speaking, even if there is a stark difference in opinion. Empathizing parents listen and understand.
- You should always show that you trust your child, and know he can overcome any situation and emerge as a stronger person. Empathizing parents let children face their problems on their own but are always there to help.
Everybody learns things on their own. There are a lot of people who could provide help but still, they do it themselves. Why? Because we believe that we can do it!
Children need empathy because it shows them the correct path of doing things with a little guidance. When you sympathize with your child, he/she will become dependent on you for all the bad points in his/her life. They will always need your support for doing something or coming out of their sad phase.
When they will grow up, this habit will remain with them. They will always depend on other friends, relatives, and family for support and will never know how to do things on their own.
Empathy is important for children from a very young age because they will realize all the consequences of a situation and in the future, will always make their decisions based on the consequences (almost).
Agreed! It’s one of the most important qualities that needs to imbibed in kids. Great tips.