Helping parents prepare their sensitive kids for the modern world
There's a sense of helplessness when our kids start hanging out with the 'wrong crowd', so to speak.
We get anxious when our innocent sensitive kid gravitates to others who don't have their back. It's painful when your kid disagrees with your assessment.
So what's a parent to do? You can't exactly lock them away in a tower for 40 years (tempting). Forcing them to stop hanging out with said scoundrels is probably going to backfire!
You are going to have to play the long game. You'll have to be subtle. A bit sneaky. Strategic. You're going to Trojan Horse the sh** out of this situation (I like to call it a sh*tuation. It presents an opportunity for your relationship to grow stronger over time).
The goal is to have the sort of connection with our kids that is predicated upon trust and security. Now. I do not mean trust that they are not going to do something stupid. And I don't mean security like Liam Neeson style parenting (we don't want to use...
Empathy is vital because it fosters trust, which is the foundation of human connection. While much has been said about the cognitive and affective components of empathy, it's important to note the richness of the perceptual aspects of empathy.
To cultivate this often neglected but powerful aspect of empathic connection, we must first understand how to empathize with our children. By doing so, we can create a deeper understanding of their perspectives and feelings. As parents, we can then use this knowledge to provide better guidance and support.
Let me show you how you can start to cultivate this crucial aspect of empathic connection with your children.
Children who experience intense emotions can be incredibly imaginative, empathetic, and intuitive. They may have heightened awareness of their surroundings but struggle with filtering information. This rich inner life can be both a gift and a challenge for them, especially as their brains are still developing. Big emotions can lead to big behaviors, which can confuse both the child and their parents.
Our emotionally sensitive children need more guidance and support to help them manage their emotions and develop their God given strengths. Obviously this means parents may need to be a lot more patient than they...
The Challenges of Modern Parenting
Parenting in today's world is becoming increasingly difficult, with several factors contributing to this phenomenon. Here are some of my observations:
To address these issues, we need to take a step back and reset. We must slow down and embrace discomfort. Reconnecting with each other and revisiting the basics is essential.
Empathy is a crucial tool in connecting with our children, but it is not synonymous with yielding to their every demand. As adults, it is our responsibility to demonstrate that boundaries must be respected in life, whether these are legal boundaries or simply a person's private space. Although it is natural to feel guilty when a child pushes back against boundaries we set, it is important to avoid caving in, as this is not in anyone's best interest.
Our upbringing can play a significant role in where we draw the line when it comes to rules and boundaries, so it is essential to reflect on our own experiences. Similarly, our children's struggles to come to terms with boundaries are expected and should be anticipated. We need to be prepared for pushback and provide a clear rationale if questioned about certain rules, but we should also not be surprised if our kids whine or complain. Expecting some degree...
Winters can be rough (or any season for that matter depending on your circumstances) in our lives and it can really feel like it's never-ending.
I think though that this could be our opportunity to take stock, rest and store energy we need for new growth. To plan what seeds we want to sow when the time come perhaps.
It can be extremely hard when or if a cold bitter season arrives. I definitely struggle to remain hopeful and to be still especially when it feels like there are cold harsh winds of various demands and pressures bearing down - and all we're trying to do is to stand still!
But when I find moments of stillness, I do my best to capitalise on those moments and spend energy really meditating on the ordinary things - what else can I really do in the midst of overwhelm? I can't think too far ahead because that might just heap anxiety onto what I'm already feeling, I don't want to think about the past too much lest it fills me with whatever unhelpful stifling...
As parents, we try our best to shield our children from negative influences. However, the reality is that children are like sponges, absorbing everything they see and hear, even if they don't fully understand it. That's why it's crucial for us to guide them through these experiences and help them make sense of the world around them.
Teachable moments are the best opportunities to teach our children about values. It's in the day-to-day moments of life that they see our values play out organically. For instance, instead of giving a didactic lecture on the merits and demerits of virtue ethics, children will learn more from watching how we handle conflicts and problems in the heat of the moment.
It's important to ask children questions about how they perceive situations and how they would respond. This helps to structure conversations around the values you would like to impart. Using stories from books or movies can also help to illustrate important values. Be sure to...
Sibling rivalry, while a natural part of growing up, can strain relationships if not managed effectively. It’s crucial to stay alert to your children’s emotional health and respond suitably when signs of jealousy emerge.
A specific form of jealousy that demands our attention stems from the fear of losing parental affection. Children may react in various ways when they feel insecure, ranging from subtle hints to explicit actions. The remedy, however, remains constant - fostering connection. Empathy and quality time form the foundation of all personal relationships, and it’s essential to prioritize these for our children. We must strive to provide them with as much attention and connection as possible.
Inevitably, some children may require more attention than others. Hence, it’s vital to create unique traditions and rituals for each child. Allocate individual time for each of them and guard this time as if it’s indispensable. While maintaining equal...
Many of us believe that praising and complimenting children is a positive action, but did you know that there is also such a thing as unhelpful praise? How can we reinforce good behaviour without unintentionally overinflating their ego? How do we ensure that our approval isn't dependent on their performance? In this video, we've outlined four key ideas to help you navigate this tricky topic:
Tune in to this episode on the podcast to learn more.
I wanted to share one of my favourite tips for helping kids talk about emotions (using an empathic approach). And you actually don't have to do a heap of talking yourself! Jump in and check it out now!