Thoughts on fostering growth through empathy
- a blog for parents -
Ever have the impulse to sit with your child when they're in distress and stay in the uncomfortable feelings with them, without making any effort to change it?
I didn't think so.
Why is it so hard to just "be with"? To just see and hear and acknowledge what IS without trying to change it?
Well, for most people it's because it's excruciatingly uncomfortable.
Who really wants to sit and stay with feelings of sadness and rejection because our child didn't get invited to the birthday party? Or sit and stay with feelings of loneliness because our child is struggling to make friends at their new school? Or sit and stay with feelings of disappointment because they failed a test or didn't make the cut for the basketball team? No one. Not me. And, likely not you.
But, what if I told you that that's what your children need? Not a change of focus to the fun time you're going to have with them instead of them attending that silly party; not suggestions to meet people at their new school; not tips to improve their test score or their layup. What if I told you they just need for you to notice their feelings of sadness, loneliness, or disappointment and to sit and stay WITH them in those difficult feelings.
Even if it's uncomfortable for you.
Because it's uncomfortable for them.
But especially because it's even more uncomfortable for them to be in those hard emotional experiences....alone.