If you are a parent, or talk to parents, one of the first things you ask about or talk about is how your kids are doing. This makes sense. Our children are often at the forefront of our minds, and our happiness and satisfaction with life are impacted by how our kids are doing. We enjoy talking about them and appreciate the interest of others. However, these conversations can often be a window into our values as parents. Because lately, and as our children get older, it seems to become farther and farther away from who their children are and closer to their resume of accomplishments.
When someone asks how a child is doing, we often hear what grade they are in, what school, and what other accomplishments they can claim…good at the piano, on a travel soccer team…etc. As they get older, it continues, school clubs, awards, and even if they have a girlfriend or boyfriend. To be fair, all of these are indicators of how they...
Many parents have heard or figured out that it can backfire when we make or ask a child to say they are sorry. When they refuse, we feel stuck and the hurt party feels worse. Or we get an angry, “Sorry!” hurled at the other child. However, we often don’t know what to do to help our child develop and express empathy or remorse. And, we find that when they don’t say it, well meaning adults see your child as uncaring. But, experience tells me this is quite the opposite.
To understand the child after an incident, let’s break it down. We have all been there: one child hit, or grabbed from, or said some hurtful words to another child. The hurt child may be crying or otherwise making clear how hurt they are. But the offender, for lack of a better term, is also struggling. To understand that child, we need to step into their shoes.
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