Thoughts on fostering growth through empathy
- a blog for parents -
Now you're probably wondering why I could possibly be writing a post about "joy". After all, you may be thinking, we're all good when our kids are experiencing joy! And besides, why would we need to empathize with that??
I am reminded of a song I sang with my folk group choir years ago. The lyrics began, "Without clouds, the rain can't wash the land. Without rain, the grass won't hide the sand..." and ended with "Without pain, the joy in life won't show".
It was a reminder that painful experiences are the contrast that allows us to appreciate joy.
So, why not empathize with our children's feelings of joy?
Why not share the silver linings in their emotional life?
Why not take time to understand (REALLY understand) what makes them happy?
Why not help them notice when they are happy and joyful?
Why not delight in them?
It isn't enough to only empathize with uncomfortable feelings and practice "being with" our children when they're uncomfortable.
Share the good stuff too!