Empathy makes difficult feelings much less difficult

Many parents worry that giving their grumpy upset child lots of empathy may encourage them to become overly needy. 

Sometimes it can seem like this is true because your empathy initially results in an increase in the  intensity of your child’s expressions of anger, grief, disappointment or other frustrations.  Yet, this is generally indicative of the child now feeling safe enough to truly feel and show their true feelings. 

In fact, so many studies have shown that when parents are empathically responsive to their children, those same children are more likely to develop greater empathy for others as well as generally having a higher emotional intelligence and resiliency.  

When children don’t feel judged for being angry, they’re more likely to cry and seek out a comforting hug rather than hit the baby.  Children develop strong emotional resilience if they are consistently cared for when upset.

Genevieve Simperingham.