Empathetic Kids – Love and Logic
November 28th, 2012
by Katrina Brooke
One of the best strategies for raising empathetic kids involves being empathetic with our kids. Yep! Every time we use empathy, we teach it. In our audio, Keeping Cool When Parenting Heats Up, we describe how consequences gain their power from the empathy locked in before they’re delivered.
Here’s the problem: Empathy doesn’t always come easy! That’s why wise people delay their reactions or consequences by saying: “I’m too angry to think about this right now. I make better decisions when I’m calm. We’ll talk later.”
Is that great modeling? Would you like for your kids to learn to do this?
The next time you find a need to discipline your child, experiment with prefacing the consequence with a sincere empathetic statement. For example, “Ooooh, no. That arguing on the way to the game was no fun. You might want to warn your coach that I won’t be driving you to the games until I don’t have to worry about that anymore.”
Another strategy for modeling empathy involves reading stories to our children about others using it. In his new book, Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy, Dr. Bob Sornson provides a heartwarming story about a girl named Emily who discovers the power of empathy. In this book, Emily learns that focusing on the feelings of others brings the best out of others.
When our children experience empathy from us, and they learn about empathy from Emily’s wonderful story, the path is laid for a lifetime of happier relationships. Watch for this book. We will have it on our shelves soon. Or, call us and be one of the first to own this book.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.