Did you wake up confused at why your spouse or partner can show more emotion with The Royals than with you? Often boys and sometimes girls are subtly told to ditch their vulnerable feelings except for in the confines of sports. Leaving dullness on the inside save for sports, sex and alcohol. Let me explain.
We want to love our kids. We want to be there for them in the way they need and help them grow into healthy and whole people. Yet in the messiness of normal life this can be so hard to do. Add to that all the pressures we feel to give our kids the perfect birthday party, sports experiences, clothes, bedrooms, etc. and pretty soon parenting can feel like a no-win situation.
This blog series is about stripping away the pressures and the confusion. It’s goal is to say perfect is not the goal and to help us remember that all our children need from us in order to survive and thrive (outside of basic needs like: food, shelter, clothing, etc.) is an attuned (though not perfect) environment where our kiddos can be empathically understood and responded to with love.
What is Empathy??
The child therapist Richard Geist helps us understand that empathy is not sympathy or compassion it is the avenue we travel to get into the minds and hearts of our kids. It is what informs us of how to love them. However this is easier said than done, yes? Now, lest you think this is being written by some disconnected voice it should be said that ,I too am a parent, an imperfect one at that, and these next words are written just as much for myself as for others. Over the course of this post and the next two I will present three big needs kids have growing up. In fact we have these needs our whole lives but they are most important for growing our self esteem and ability to love early on.