Empathic Family & Parenting
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Empathic Family & Parenting
News from around the word about Empathic Relationships, Family Life and Parenting
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
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(Empathic Parenting) Parenting: Empathy is Not Indulgence

(Empathic Parenting) Parenting: Empathy is Not Indulgence | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it
Empathy is not indulgence. It is not permissive and it is not laissez-faire. Listening with empathy helps children bounce back. The solution of every emotional or behavioral problem of childhood should begin (but does not end) with our willingness to make a genuine effort to hear our child’s concerns and to understand her point of view.

When you listen empathically to your children, they experience reduced stress, and then, increased cognitive and emotional flexibility. In your child’s behavior, you will see less argument, less defiance, and less withdrawal.

Moments of empathic understanding then open a pathway toward emotional maturity. Your child becomes, in small increments, more open to compromise and problem solving.  In this way, our empathy helps bring about a decisive change in children’s attitudes and behavior; a fulcrum shift in their emotional development—a movement away from urgent and insistent demands and toward tolerance for disappointments and frustrations, and acceptance of personal responsibility.


KENNETH BARISH, Ph.D


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Susan Stillman's curator insight, April 25, 2015 10:19 AM

Shares some important concepts about parental empathy influencing a child's brain development as well as their behavior and attitudes.

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Kids who grow up with dogs and cats are more emotionally intelligent and compassionate

Kids who grow up with dogs and cats are more emotionally intelligent and compassionate | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it
1. Compassion: According to this overview of the scientific literature by Nienke Endenburg and Ben Baarda in The Waltham Book of Human-Animal Interaction, 


"If there are pets in the house, parents and children frequently share in taking care of the pet, which suggests that youngsters learn at an early age how to care for and nurture a dependent animal." Even very young children can contribute to the care and feeding of a pet — a 3-year-old can take a bowl of food and set it on the floor for a cat, and at the same age, a child can be taught to stroke an animal nicely, maybe using the back of the hand so they don't grab the animal. Supervising kids during the first few interactions is a teaching moment.


Later, once they have learned the ropes, their memory and understanding of a life outside themselves will be stimulated each time they interact with the animals. Older kids can be responsible for walking a dog or playing with it in the yard, cleaning out a cat's litter box, or taking veggie scraps from dinner to a rabbit or hamster.


A study of 3- to 6-year-olds found that kids with pets had more empathy towards other animals and human beings, while another study found that even just having an animal in a classroom made fourth-graders more compassionate. 


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Lon Woodbury's curator insight, April 29, 2015 11:50 PM

I have heard the claim, especially by equine therapists, that "the horse is the therapist."  I think that applies to virtually all dependent creatures that children (and adults) interact with..  I heard a cute story that dogs were sent to earth to deliver the message of peace.  The dogs ate the message, but are still trying to deliver it. :) -Lon 

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(Empathic Parenting) Can you teach empathy? Children tend to adopt their parents’ values.

(Empathic Parenting) Can you teach empathy? Children  tend to adopt their parents’ values. | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

Studies suggest that all of these skills can be taught or encouraged. For example, discussing the emotional content of stories has been shown to increase empathy in school-age children, as does getting children to practice imagining how other people might be feeling.


Children also tend to adopt their parents’ values.


So if parents strive constantly for fame, academic achievement or monetary gain at any cost, then their children are unlikely to value empathy very highly. Therefore, teaching empathy begins with showing empathy, and children who feel cared for and secure are more likely to show empathy towards others.


Kathy Curtis 


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(Empathic Parenting) Being There for our Children and for Others

(Empathic Parenting) Being There for our Children and for Others | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

Empathic parenting involves all of the above. To maintain a close bond with my children, it is essential for me to focus on being lovingly responsive in my interactions with them. I want to relate well with them, sense what they are feeling, help them put their thoughts and feelings into words, and anticipate their reactions as well as their needs. I want to stop, get down to their level, look lovingly in their eyes, and give them my full attention.


I need to listen, listen, listen, help them to feel understood, and accept them for the unique individuals they are. I must keep my own emotional world separate from theirs. I have to be flexible and willing to adjust my language, thoughts, and actions, and to admit my mistakes. I need to be able to step back and reflect on the events of the day, acknowledge the ways in which I offered my children unconditional support and love, and consider ways I might be able to maintain connection with greater ease.


My children rely on my ability to connect―and to re-connect―with them. They instinctively know that their coping abilities, and even their survival, depend on a strong connection with me.


by Tamara Parnay

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(Empathic Parenting) Organizing an active listening partnership with another adult

(Empathic Parenting) Organizing an active listening partnership with another adult | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it
Counselling or organized active listening with another parent differs from chatting with friends in that it gives you the chance to really drop into exploring where the related feelings are held in your body, and help you to experience relief and release as you share your vulnerable feelings.  


You'll experience a lot more patience and space for you to deepen into your thoughts and feelings when the space is dedicated to you feeling heard.  This process often brings gems of clarity and insight into the origins or the core beliefs of our most painful patterns.


Often in talking about one’s problems with friends, a person doesn’t necessarily gain a sense of relief, release or resolution because many of the responses that friends and family offer are often at a more intellectual level and may lack true emotional connection. 


When you feel that which is raw and vulnerable for you, you need and deserve to feel truly met, heard, understood and empathized with.


by Genevieve



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(Empahtic Parenting) Parenting for a Peaceful World

Parenting for a Peaceful World

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“Building of human empathy is one brick at a time and sometimes the bricks come down in the building process.”  

Robin Grille, Parenting for a Peaceful World

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(Empathic Parenting) Emotions are Not Bad Behavior - Blocking empathy

(Empathic Parenting) Emotions are Not Bad Behavior - Blocking empathy | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

It's a fact of human relationships that our capacity for listening is elusive; we lose it, we regain it, we lose it again. Sometimes it is hard to see whether we are listening so that our children really feel heard. We kid ourselves. We think we are listening when really we are avoiding contact - and then we are bewildered by and surprised at our child's frustration. It can be very useful to get a clear picture of what is listening and what is not.


When our own fears, our shame, our jealousies or our emotional exhaustion get in the way, we tend to play some pretty clever games to deflect our children's communications so that their feelings won't touch us.


One of the biggest reasons we avoid listening is because our children's disappointments make us feel guilty .


Our evasive tactics are called "empathy blockers". Empathy blockers save us the trouble of listening, but they cost us our connection with each other.


Sometimes we use empathy blockers inadvertently because we are anxiously trying to save our children from emotional pain. Ironically, the greatest salve for our children comes from being heard, not from us trying to change how they feel. For all of these reasons, we all use empathy blockers from time to time, quite automatically and unconsciously.

 


by Robin Grille

Excerpted from Heart to Heart Parenting

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(Empathic Parenting) Empathy makes difficult feelings much less difficult

(Empathic Parenting) Empathy makes difficult feelings much less difficult | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

Many parents worry that giving their grumpy upset child lots of empathy may encourage them to become overly needy.  Sometimes it can seem like this is true because your empathy initially results in an increase in the intensity of your child’s expressions of anger, grief, disappointment or other frustrations. 


Yet, this is generally indicative of the child now feeling safe enough to truly feel and show their true feelings. 


In fact, so many studies have shown that when parents are empathically responsive to their children, those same children are more likely to develop greater empathy for others as well as generally having a higher emotional intelligence and resiliency.  


When children don’t feel judged for being angry, they’re more likely to cry and seek out a comforting hug rather than hit the baby.  Children develop strong emotional resilience if they are consistently cared for when upset.


Yet empathy doesn’t come naturally to all parents.  Many of us didn’t receive much of it as children and really have a lot to learn about empathic communication. 


When this is the case, a parent's commitment to show their child more empathy can lead them to seeking more empathy for themselves and learning to be more empathetic towards themselves, as it's difficult to give that which we're not receiving. 


by Genevieve Simperingham.

http://peacefulparent.com



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Sophia Tara's curator insight, May 11, 2015 6:42 PM

When parents are empathically responsive to their children, those same children are more likely to develop greater empathy for others as well as generally having a higher emotional intelligence and resiliency.  

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(Empathic Parenting) TEACH through Love: Why Supernanny is DEAD WRONG!

(Empathic Parenting) TEACH through Love: Why Supernanny is DEAD WRONG! | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

I've really had it with Supernanny.


The parenting tips  "Supernanny" Jo Frost gave went from being ill-informed to dead wrong in a matter of seconds with the dangerous advice given to the Joliet (sp) family and their son Patrick.


Telling these parents who have "trouble forgetting the trauma" they should "recognize his heart condition has not hindered him to understand - here in his brain - to understand to do things." - is absolutely FALSE and frightening. ...


Empathy, self-regulation and consideration are pre-frontal cortex skills which are built with tolerance and compassion - not authority and control. 


by Lori Petro


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Empathic Family and Parenting: Empathy is one of our highest human skills and holds families and societies together.

Empathic Family and Parenting: Empathy is one of our highest human skills and holds families and societies together. | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

"Empathy is one of our highest human skills and holds families and societies together. Feeling connected to other people is probably the deepest satisfaction we will ever know.


How terrible for children who are being brought up without that capacity"


Sue Gerhardt, 'Why Love Matters?"

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Marshall Rosenberg

Marshall Rosenberg | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

 “I wouldn't expect someone who's been injured to hear my side until they felt that I had fully understood the depth of their pain.”

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Thich Nhat Hanh - The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.

Thich Nhat Hanh - The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” Thich Nhat Hanh

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Meryl Streep - I've thought a lot about the power of empathy.

Meryl Streep - I've thought a lot about the power of empathy. | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

I've thought a lot about the power of empathy. In my work, it's the current that connects me and my actual pulse to a fictional character in a made up story, it allows me to feel, pretend feelings and sorrows and imagined pain.. Meryl Streep

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(Empathic Parenting) Are You Listening Without Empathy?

(Empathic Parenting) Are You Listening Without Empathy? | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it
A real danger for parents who try to learn Active Listening solely from a book’s printed page is their inability to hear the warmth and empathy that must accompany their efforts. Empathy means a quality of communication that conveys to the sender of a message that the listener is feeling with her, putting herself in the shoes of the sender, living, for a moment, inside the sender.


Everyone wants others to understand how she feels when she talks, not just what she is saying. Children, especially, are feeling people. Therefore, much of what they communicate is accompanied by feelings: joy, hate, disappointment, fear, love, worry, anger, pride, frustration, sadness, and so on. When they communicate with parents, they expect empathy with such feelings.


When parents don’t empathize, children naturally feel that the essential part of them at that moment–their feeling–is not being understood. Probably, the most common mistake parents make when they first try out Active Listening is to feed back a response devoid of the feeling component of the child’s message.

 

Here’s an example:


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Dimitris Portokalis's curator insight, April 27, 2015 3:55 PM

"A real danger for parents who try to learn Active Listening solely from a book’s printed page is their inability to hear the warmth and empathy that must accompany their efforts. Empathy means a quality of communication that conveys to the sender of a message that the listener is feeling with her, putting herself in the shoes of the sender, living, for a moment, inside the sender."

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(Empathic Parenting) The Consequences of Unempathic Care

(Empathic Parenting)  The Consequences of Unempathic Care | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it
  1. Trauma Demands Repetition
  2. The Diseases of Non-Attachment
  3. Developmental Psychopaths
  4. The Partial Psychopath
  5. I Am Worried
  6. The Psychopath's Favorite Playground
  7. Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence
  8. Addictive Delinquency
  9. The Causes of Hostility
  10. Preventable Perversions
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                  (Empathic Parenting) How Empathic Parenting Is the Antithesis of Narcissism: Empathy is the cornerstone for love

                  (Empathic Parenting) How Empathic Parenting Is the Antithesis of Narcissism: Empathy is the cornerstone for love | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it
                  Lack of empathy is a trademark of narcissistic parents. Empathizing with your children is feeling what they are feeling and acknowledging those feelings. It is the art of compassion and sensitivity, as well as the ability to give moral support in whatever they are experiencing.


                  You do not have to agree with them but you are there for them. You put aside your own feelings and thoughts for the moment and tune in to their emotional needs to attempt to understand where they are coming from and why. Instead of citing rules or trying to give advice and direction, try this empathy exercise instead...



                  When we can give empathy to our children or loved ones, we are doing a double good deed




                   by Karyl McBride  


                  image: Echo and Narcissus - Waterhouse http://j.mp/1DKyc2R



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                  (Empathic Parenting) The Importance of Empathic Parenting - The Natural Child Project

                  (Empathic Parenting) The Importance of Empathic Parenting - The Natural Child Project | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it
                  Swiss therapist and author Alice Miller does not mince words: "Any person who abuses his children has himself been severely traumatized in his childhood... there is no reason for child abuse other than the repression of the abuse and confusion once suffered by the abuser himself."


                  How, then, does an abused child overcome painful experiences enough to give his own children more love than he himself was given? Are such children, as they reach adulthood, doomed to repeat an endless cycle of anger, abuse, and retaliation? Or are there ways to stop the cycle, and learn more empathic, responsive ways of treating children?


                  by Jan Hunt

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                  Empathic parenting style is based on very different ethics of child raring to the dominant punitive authoritarian parenting

                  Empathic parenting style is based on very different ethics of child raring to the dominant punitive authoritarian parenting | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

                  Landscape of the Soul by Gary Caganoff


                  The empathic parenting style is based on very different ethics of child raring to the dominant punitive authoritarian parenting of the pre WWII generations, and different again from the permissive parenting style that grew out of Dr. Benjamin Spock’s work post WWII (Grille, 2005, p79, p85).


                  Both these latter styles of parenting are still the dominant child-raring practices in our society.


                  The authoritarian style of parenting aims to, ‘train the child to conform to cultural norms…

                  Where the parent, while (perhaps) not lacking affection, tends to view the child through a moral lens that dichotomises behaviour into ‘good’ and ‘bad’’ (Grille, 2005, p69).


                  This style of child raring enforces discipline and control in order to bend the child to fit parental and social expectations, which limit self-expression and tries to create the ‘good child’...

                  The opposite of authoritarian ‘control’ parenting is permissive ‘out-of-control’ parenting, where you, as the parent, allow your child to control you, the parent, through your own compliance, indulgence, or indifference (Paul, 2007, web page). 



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                  (Empathic Parenting) "Good" Children - at What Price? Shame Doesn't Teach about Relationship or Empathy

                  (Empathic Parenting) "Good" Children - at What Price?    Shame Doesn't Teach about Relationship or Empathy | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

                  While shaming has the power to control behavior, it does not have the power to teach empathy. When we repeatedly label a child "naughty" or otherwise, we condition them to focus inwardly, and they become pre-occupied with themselves and their failure to please. Thus children learn to label themselves, but learn nothing about relating, or about considering and comprehending the feelings of others.


                  For empathy to develop, children need to be shown how others feel. In calling children "naughty", for example, we have told the child nothing about how we feel in response to their behavior.


                  Children cannot learn about caring for others' feelings, nor about how their behavior impacts on others, while they are thinking: "There is something wrong with me." In fact, psychotherapists and researchers are finding that individuals who are more prone to shame, are less capable of empathy toward others, and more self-preoccupied.

                  The only true basis for morality is a deeply felt empathy toward the feelings of others. Empathy is not necessarily what drives the "well-behaved" "good boy" or "good girl".


                  by Robin Grille and Beth Macgregor

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                  (Empathic Parenting) Parental Guilt a silent epidemic

                  (Empathic Parenting) Parental Guilt a silent epidemic | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

                  By Robin Grille


                  Guilt and remorse are very different; in fact they are opposites. Remorse is about the other: it is about allowing their feelings, listening with empathy, and it is about the desire and effort to repair any hurt we may have caused...

                   

                  For sure, we all have blind spots and as parents we occasionally stumble. Some of us are good at empathy but have trouble asserting strong boundaries. Some can be very assertive as parents but at times lack sensitivity. Some of us seem to relate better to toddlers than to babies, or vice versa. Nevertheless, because of the new emphasis on healthy emotional development around the world an opportunity exists to create a new society through our honest efforts to grow as parents.
                   
                  Still feel guilty?
                  Who said  listening  to our children would be easy?
                  Empathy can be a hard-won skill. Psychologists and counsellors spend hundreds of hours learning how to listen to people’s feelings so that they feel heard.


                  Despite all that training and even after years of experience, not one of us can claim that we don’t need to keep improving our ability to empathize. Good listening requires a conscious effort to be humble, open, and to set judgment and expectations aside – we can keep learning this forever.
                   
                  So why are we surprised when we have an empathy lapse with our children?


                  It’s fine to be remorseful, but why do we beat ourselves up? If even professional listeners need to keep learning and practicing their art, is it not OK that parents have much to learn about listening too?
                   

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                  (Empathic Parenting) Empathy as a Foundation of Family Life: Robbyn Peters Bennett and Edwin Rutsch

                  (Empathic Parenting) Empathy as a Foundation of Family Life:  Robbyn Peters Bennett and Edwin Rutsch | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

                  "I think for some, there is a religious idea that children are innately sinful, and innately evil even maybe.  But what neuroscience is saying is that children are innately empathic. That the fundamental neurobiological orientation of the brain, is it learns though empathy and through co-regulation and that children have an innate need to connect and they have an innate need to feel good with us and to enjoy us."


                  Robbyn Peters Bennett, LMHC, CMHS is a psychotherapist, educator, and child advocate who specializes in the treatment of trauma-related mental health problems resulting from the effects of early childhood stress, abuse and neglect. She is the founder of StopSpanking.org, a non-profit dedicated to educating the public on the dangers of spanking. She is on the steering committee of The U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children.
                   
                  In this dialog we talk about how science shows that we are biologically wired for empathy and how trauma can block it and ways to restore blocked empathy.  We also discuss the role of empathy in different parenting approaches.


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                  (Empathic Parenting) TEACH through Love: What's Wrong With Punitive Consequences?

                  (Empathic Parenting) TEACH through Love: What's Wrong With Punitive Consequences? | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

                  Punitive discipline denies children the opportunity to reflect because we teach them to look outside of themselves for direction and to seek approval from others instead of acting authentically from a morality which is developing with empathy - through relationship.


                  “Much of today’s popular advice to parents ignores emotion. Instead, it relies on child-rearing theories that address children’s misbehavior, but disregards the feelings that underlie that misbehavior.


                  The ultimate goal of raising children should not be simply to have an obedient and compliant child. Most parents hope for much more for their children.”

                  Dr. John Gottman, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child


                  by Lori Petro


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                  Empathy Quotes

                  Empathy Quotes | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

                  Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding.


                  The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.”


                  Bill Bullard

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                  Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. - Simone Weil

                  Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. - Simone Weil | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

                  Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. Simone Weil

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                  Thich Nhat Hanh - The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment,

                  Thich Nhat Hanh - The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, | Empathic Family & Parenting | Scoop.it

                  The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. Thich Nhat Hanh

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