Parenting with Empathy

August 8, 2017

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How do you convey to your little girls that you were once where they are and still have some empathy for them? 

 

 How do you guide them without them feeling like you are completely out of touch?

 

 Ultimately, how do you guide them without yanking the steering wheel out of their hands and driving them where you want them to go?  

 

I came ahead with this, this past weekend.

 

Reuniting with about 15 women who were once girls after 27 years was simply incredible.  Recalling events, school acts, reminiscing on the good ol’ boarding school we attended. It was a weekend packed with pure connection, laughter, passion, and friendship.

 

I sat beside Toks and Kemi hovered over us as we carried on about the next time we would make this all happen.

 

In that instant,  I saw a flash of who I thought was Yetty (one of our old school mates) beside me.  Yet, it wasn’t her!

 

It was her daughter!!!

 


She looked exactly like her mother Yetty at the age I met her– it was beyond striking!  Unbelievable!! 

 

And I looked around at all the kids, they danced around with no care in the world; doing what kids do and the mothers – my friends stepping in every now and then to caution, give a tad pep talk etc.

 

 

 

 

And that got me thinking and recalling how our mothers tried to caution us on certain thing and teach us, and as kids, we just swore they didn’t know what we were going through.  It was almost as though as kids we were not capable of seeing that our mothers were once little girls.

 

As the world turns  – How do we now raise our girls(boys), conveying to them, convincingly that you do know something about where they are in this stage of life yet leaving them enough freedom to carve their own paths in life?

 

How do you instill the value of trust with trust, show compassion without letting them off the hook?  How do you teach responsibility without being dominating? How do you lead your girls and empower them to walk in their purpose? How do you impart that they are powerful beyond measure and have a light inside of them that guides them without bringing up loose cannons?

 

Here are some tips I’ve learned as a coach that parents might find helpful;

 

See their innocence – You get to tap into some compassion for the kids and draw from your old experience making it even more powerful and impactful.

 

Act as if they can do it – We spend a lot of times ‘helping’ our kids, hardly giving them a moment to help themselves or even give it a try.  I see this even with my 12 month old nephew who wants to find a way out of a corner, we adults are quick to show him the way out, yet if we left him for a minute or two, he finds a creative way out.  They are more creative than we give them credit for.  Giving them room to do as they are capable helps build trust and empower the kids.

 

Show Empathy – Show empathy without dictating the next steps.

 

Now, I am not one to tell you how to raise your children yet It almost became super clear to me – some of the quandary my mother and others must have gone through raising their kids and I figured, I’d write this piece.

 

If this resonates with you, give it a heart and share with other parents.

 

Parents choose.

 

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