Parenting With Empathy and Empowering Your Child

 

 

  • You’re walking up the stairs with your four-year-old, dragging bags of groceries up to your second-floor apartment. It’s the end of a long day, and you’re exhausted. You haven’t gone up half a flight before your darling child plops himself down on the ground and starts whining, “Mommy, I can’t do this, I’m tired!”

  • You’re in the grocery store, kids in tow, and they’re driving you crazy. If they’re not clamoring for sugar cereal, they’re begging for breakfast bars (and just one little coloring book, please, Mommy, please? Just one?).

  • You’re just getting home with your kindergartener, and as you put your key in the door, your next door neighbor stops to chat. Your pride-n-joy promptly sticks her tongue out, makes a face at the neighbor, and whines, “Mommy, come on, let’s go!” Horrified, you mutter an apology and whisk your daughter inside for a little talk. When did she get to be so rude?



Parenting is hard…damn hard! It’s fun, and it’s probably one of the most rewarding things we’ll ever do with our lives, but it ain’t no piece of cake.  Each day presents new challenges, and as parents we carry the incredible responsibility of helping our children navigate these challenges in a way that will help them grow and develop as individuals – all while maintaining our own sanity!

 

After a long day at the office, or after a few hours of ferrying kids across town to their various activities, it is not always easy for us parents to keep our cool.  When faced with a whining or misbehaving child, we often react to our kids, at least on some level, as if they were “objects”.  We find their behavior annoying or disturbing, and we — rightfully — want it to stop!

 

And here is where Emparenting! comes in.  If we were to articulate a single fundamental principle behind Emparenting! it would say something like this:

 

The single most important thing we can do as parents is to train ourselves to relate to our children with empathy.  When they are misbehaving, or when they are doing something we don’t like, our first step must always be to take a step back — away from our own aggravation — and try and figure out what is bothering them, and what we can do to help them find a better way of channeling their feelings.

 

There are thousands of parenting books out there, each offering a different take on what it means to be the perfect parent.  Some advocate punishment, others are dead against it.  Some tell us to co-sleep, others that we must establish clear boundaries early on. At Emparenting!, we acknowledge that there are as many different parenting styles as there are parents or children, and that there is no one “right way” to do things.  However, we firmly believe that good parenting must incorporate empathy and empowerment as the core values for dealing with day to day parenting dilemmas.

Emparenting! is a practical philosophy,  a mission statement, and a mantra all rolled into one — and it is one we can use every day, on the spot, to guide our actions in raising empathetic, empowered, and emotionally healthy children.