How To Be An Empathetic Parent Even When It Feels Hard

Seven reasons why being empathetic can be difficult and what you can do to increase your empathy as a parent.

 

Sometimes when I watch my child crumple into a screeching, sobbing mess at my feet, all I hear in my head is, “You have got to be kidding me! I don’t have time for this!” I can’t feel his pain, I can’t understand his mind, and I can’t find empathy for him.

 

The thing is, though, I know how to be empathetic—as a psychotherapist and parenting educator, I teach others how to do it. Empathy is a parenting cornerstone, it provides the foundation for emotional development in children. Some days, even though I know how to do it, it takes a long time for my own instructions to turn into action. I have stared at my melting-down children and glazed over, momentarily not even caring how they felt.

 

by: Andrea Nair