Thoughts on fostering growth through empathy
- a blog for parents -
Remember the last time someone agreed with what you had said followed by a little "but". As in, "Yes, but....". Did you feel understood?
I didn't think so.
That little "but" nullified everything that came before. You were likely just waiting for their argument - something that would tell you they fundamentally disagreed with you and were about to tell you just how wrong you were.
But what if they had said, "Yes, and..."?
Consider if your child just took a toy from their playmate, you might typically say, "Yes, I know you really wanted that toy which is why you took it from her, but, Suzie had it first."
Compare that to, "Yes, I know you really wanted that toy which is why you took it from her and I also see that Suzie is now really sad because she had been playing with it."
Which do you think might work better to help your child begin to consider the perspectives or others and begin to participate in solving all the problems at hand?
Give it a try and see how it goes!