Tips for Becoming a More Empathetic Parent

No one every said that being a parent would always be easy. There will be times when your child’s behavior frustrates you (or makes you angry). Many people “lose their cool” when they feel stressed and overwhelmed. Children need parents who are empathetic to their needs. Here are some tips to help you become a more empathetic parent. There is an article in the Huffington Post titled “How to Be an Empathetic Parent, Even When It Feels Hard”. It was written by Andrea Nair. She is a psychotherapist and parenting educator who teaches people how to be empathetic. In her … Continue reading

Supporting Others who are Going Through a Divorce

Divorce is one of those experiences that no one can fully understand until they have been through it. No matter how many movies and televisions shows one watches, getting through a divorce is more intense and consuming than anything one might imagine. Whether you are the one who instigates the divorce or not, or whether or not you know that it is the right thing to do—if there are children involved and it requires a reorganization of your family, no one understands like someone who has been there, done that. I think this is one of the reasons that those … Continue reading

Using Stories to Help you Parent

For centuries, tribes of people have used stories as a way of teaching values, sharing history and information, and even teaching children about the world around them and the role they are expected to play in it. As a parent, we too can use stories to help us to guide and teach our children and stories can also be a way of injecting some fun and humor into your parenting. While you can find children’s books about just about any and every topic that might come up in your household—and books can be a great way to introduce ideas and … Continue reading

My True Feelings About Trading Places

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of books with a similar theme: the Law of Attraction. I have to say I believe there’s something to it. For instance, I set out on a mission this year with the intention of making the most of marriage. Several months later I get an email inviting me to participate in a book blog tour. I was game, so I accepted. Two days later Trading Places: The Best Move You’ll Ever Make in Your Marriage arrives in my mailbox. That book provided a wealth of information and answered many questions I’ve had. Namely, what’s … Continue reading

Sometimes, You Need to Hear from Someone who has Been There

As much as I like a lot of diversity in my life and I generally feel most comfortable when I am surrounded by people with different ideas, values, and opinions, there are times when I really just need advice and conversation with someone who has been there. All the compassion and sympathy in the world just cannot make up for someone who has actually walked in my shoes. I do not rule out that those who have not lived through the same thing or things that I have can be helpful, but I think that we all occasionally feel like … Continue reading

The Pain of Watching Our Kids Struggle

While there is plenty of joy, pleasure and delight in parenting—especially as we watch our children stretch and grow and blossom into their own individual people, there is also some struggle and pain. I think one of the most painful thing for many parents is not what happens to us, but the pain and suffering we endure as we watch our children have to struggle and face some of life’s challenges… I know in my head that I cannot protect my children from everything or make their lives an easy, cushy walk in the park. I even know intellectually that … Continue reading

Empathy, Sympathy or Pity?

Empathy in parenting, friendship, and life is important—it allows us to connect with other people and have rich and valuable relationships. Not only can we share our empathy with others, but we also need to feel it come in our direction. Sympathy is another one of those emotions of understanding that can be shared. Where we can get into trouble, however, is when empathy and sympathy become pity… I don’t know about you, but I do NOT want people to feel sorry for me and I know that when I find myself feeling sorry for other people, whether it is … Continue reading

Thinking Like a Parent, But with Empathy for the Child

Okay, here is your quiz question for the day: How well do you remember being a child? And, the follow-up questions: Are there certain ages you remember being better than others? Are there triggers that make it difficult for you to remember that you’re the parent now and NOT still a child? Most of us bring our childhood experiences with us into parenting and we either want to right the wrongs that were done to us, do things completely different than our parents did, or sustain a pretty good or idyllic childhood. As parents, however, we have to remind ourselves … Continue reading

Patience and Empathy Go Hand-in-Hand

The more stressed we single parents get, the harder it can be to “keep our cool” with our kids (or even with friends and coworkers). I find that when I remember to foster some empathy, it just naturally helps me to be more patient. Remembering that we all are in the same boat and putting myself in my kids’ shoes, helps me to find more patience in my parenting and other personal interactions. Patience can be tough to muster! Just last night, I was preparing to settle in after a long day—work with one job, before working on another, and … Continue reading

Imagine Things from Your Child’s Perspective

Most of the time, I think of myself as a fairly level-headed and reasonably evolved person and I can usually figure out what is going on for ME when it comes to family life and interactions with my kids. I don’t’ always do such a great job of seeing things from their point of view. When we are at an impasse or a standstill or my kids are behaving in ways that don’t really make a lot of sense to me, I find it helps if I can get myself to imagine what things might look like from my child’s … Continue reading