Marshall has as said that for every 10 minutes of parenting, 1 hour of empathy is needed! Many parents would agree that parenting is one of the most challenging things that they are doing & have done in their lives.
Understanding our children is connecting to and understanding their needs. It can be challenging to believe that underneath every behaviour is a met or unmet need because often we only see the behaviour and the pain that comes from it. It is easy to get hooked into that behaviour & see our child as “bad” or “difficult.” Often these thoughts come from our own frustration & annoyance, our longing for support, peace, co-operation, ease or perhaps harmony.
Parenting is as much about us as it is about our children. We are in relationship with our child and both the needs of our children and our needs are important to consider. We cannot expect our child at a young age to understand this, but we can deal with our own frustrations & pain by receiving support via empathy for with others.
In receiving our own empathy will helps us to be more able to support our own child with hearing their feelings & needs & then being able to work together to find a a strategy that will more likely result in harmony.
Learning how to give your child empathy is something that will support your relationship. Often, all our children ever want is just to be heard. The the more they feel heard, the more likely they are going to keep on sharing with us what is going on with them without fear of judgement. Giving your child empathy consists of being present & reflecting back their feelings & needs in a way that makes sense to them. With a younger child, often all they want is to be held, feel safe and be able to express their fears or sadness.
NVC can support a healthy, connecting & loving relationship with your children.