A Special Message from the Editors

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Emparenting!, the online magazine (and soon – community) that shines the spotlight on empathy and empowerment as the key principles to more meaningful, effective parenting.

What does it mean to embrace a new parenting philosophy?
That’s the question that we the editors, Lila Segal and Elli Sacks, asked ourselves when we embarked on this adventure a little over two years ago.
Friends since college days, we now found ourselves along with our respective spouses and children, as neighbors living around the corner from one another. One hot summer afternoon, while watching our kids gleefully splash through sprinklers, we began talking about our parenting successes and setbacks, what techniques worked best for us and which ones flopped, and what our long-term goals and measures for child-raising success should ultimately be.

We were both fans of Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish’s wonderful parenting primer How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk , but we had taken a look at many of the other parenting guides out there, and were perplexed by the contradictory advice offered by so many. Clearly, a lot of these authors were either misunderstanding or misrepresenting the body of psychological research, they had to be, or else they were just winging it. But even some of the better written and researched guides failed to distinguish between claims that were based on solid research and others based on the author’s own personal beliefs. Included in the party of the guilty was none other than the parenting bible, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by the esteemed Dr. Benjamin Spock. The question loomed large — whom could we trust and what information could we rely upon?

It was over the course of this discussion that we began analyzing the parenting techniques that worked best for us. It was then that Lila had the epiphany. What all our best techniques shared in common was an empahsis on empathizing with our children when addressing a problem, and then following up by empowering our kids, teaching them the tools to use so they could solve similar problems in the future by themselves. “Empathy” and “empowerment” in “parenting.” A new term was coined: “Emparenting!” And the rest, as they say, is history…

The website you see before you is the fruit of that first fateful conversation between us, which was followed by dozens and dozens of followup conversations. Over the last twelve months we’ve broadened our discussion circle to include (amongst others) a host of parents, grandparents, educators, and psychologists who offered many insights and criticisms that we could not have come up with on our own. We are deeply indebted to you. We would be remiss if we didn’t express our sincerest thanks to our wonderful partners in parenting — our spouses — for their patience, understanding and advice; AND to our amazing children who persistently find new ways to surprise us and are constantly teaching us new lessons.

Last, but not least, to our readers: we hope you enjoy the magazine! Forward it to your friends! Send letters (critical or congratulatory) to the editors!

HAPPY EMPARENTING!

Elli Sacks and Lila Segal