Thoughts on fostering growth through empathy
- a blog for parents -
I am sure you know Dorothy Nolte's poem, "Children Learn What They Live". It begins with, "If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn". The basic message is that we as parents teach our children the values by the way we live in our daily lives; whatever they see and hear during their time with us, that is what they learn to live.
One of the lines goes, "If a child lives with fear, they learn to be apprehensive." This can look like what therapists call "anxiety".
In today's world children, even very young ones, struggle with anxiety. Separation anxiety, anxiety about food, social anxiety, test anxiety, performance anxiety, generalized anxiety. And it can show up in struggles with regulating attention, emotions, moods and behaviours from a very young age.
Creating a world (at least in your corner of the world) where children are able to live with serenity may be the antidote. After all, I should think that children who live with serenity, would experience a sense of calm and peace of mind.
What could that look like in your family?