With Valentine’s Day a mere 3 days away, I wanted to share a mini-lesson on the difference between something we all carry in that fist-sized red organ that sits in the middle of our chests. I’m sharing this lesson because it is one of the keys to managing your child’s behavior – seriously!
Empathy is about connection and sympathy is about disconnection.
That’s it. Mini-lesson over. You want more? Ok. There are three key qualities of empathy that I want you to consider as we discover more about parenting –
1. Perspective taking – the ability to take the perspective, or “stand in the shoes of” another person
2. Staying out of judgment – rarely does empathy begin with the phrase, “At least”, as in “At least you got one hit in the game”.
3. Recognizing emotion – Identifying an emotion in another person, then communicating that. Instead of trying to make things better, how about saying, “Wow, I don’t even know what to say right now, but I’m so glad you told me.”
A colleague of mine shares a story of empathy – imagine your child falling in a deep hole and shouting out, “I’m stuck, it’s dark, I’m overwhelmed.” Then we look in and we say, “Hey, I know what it’s like down here, and your not alone.”
Empathy is a vulnerable choice. In order to connect with our children, we have to connect with something inside ourselves that knows that feeling. Try some empathy with your heart-shaped chocolates this week! Be WISE!
She has been a tremendous help with family issues and getting our children organized for success in life. Highly recommend her.— Mom of three young adults ages 20 – 24
“Amy brings together the best emotion-focused strategies with cutting-edge brain science to change the lives of children and families”— Parent of adopted twin girls
Amy knows how to relate to children, and make them feel comfortable . My son was shy at the beginning but Amy asked him a couple questions about what he likes and immediately found the connection to him. He happily followed her in the office (just after a 3 min of conversation) and preformed the test. He wasn’t nervous or scared and it’s bc of her ability to relate to kids.
We had a great experience and he wants to go back! Thank you very much!— Dad of 5-year-old assessment client
We read through your website from start to finish and were so impressed by your extensive credentials and training but, the real reason why we want to work with you is your clear enthusiasm for children and families and the wisdom and deep love you share for both!— Mom of 12-year-old child with special needs