Compassion = empathy + action

 As moms, we all want to be compassionate to our children, right? We want our kids to describe us 20 years from now in this way: “My mom was always there for me. She was kind and compassionate. She listened and helped me out.”

But in the day-to-day busy life, it’s easy for those compassion reserves to dip just a bit. It’s easy to skip over the perspective part and just help our kids in the way we think is best.

But what are they seeing, feeling, and experiencing in that moment? Trying to see things through their eyes is the empathy piece, the first part of compassion.

It’s easy to jump in and fix problems for our kids. We want to help them out! We know things- we’ve lived a LOT longer than they have. We can fix things for them! But without empathy before action, our attempts to help fall short.

I like this quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Jumping straight into fixing things? That skips the empathy part. That skips taking your child’s perspective and letting them know how much you care.

Jumping right to the fixing part is what all parents do sometimes because we want to help, and we know how to fix things. But we want to first show empathy so to truly connect with our children through compassion.

So how can I be a more compassionate parent?

By taking just a moment to try to see things through my child’s eyes before jumping in to fix them. I can show compassion by listening more and going straight to the solution less. I can show compassion through empathy with my child first, and then help them find a solution second.

Stopping to gain perspective and try to see things through your child’s eyes is a new behavior for you, a new skill to learn. So teach it and practice it as a new skill.

Give yourself a cue to serve as a reminder to pause before you jump in and fix things.

I like this acronym for WAIT.

W – Why

A-  Am

I – I

T – Talking?

Take a moment to use the WAIT strategy to listen before fixing.

WAIT – Why Am I Talking?

Save today’s post as an image (or a screenshot) and make it the background of your phone as a reminder.

Write WAIT on a post-it note and stick it on your fridge or my favorite spot for visual supports and cues- the inside of the kitchen cabinets you open every day.

Teach yourself this new behavior of waiting + considering your child’s perspective (empathy) before jumping in to fix things for them (action). Give yourself some help with visual cues. Then reward yourself for using this new skill! Give yourself a literal pat on the back. Tell a friend or your partner. Message me- I’ll celebrate with you!

Compassion = empathy + action

How can you show compassion today?

Don’t let problem behaviors or the desire to “fix things” get in the way of using compassion in your parenting to truly connect with your child. You can always set up a free parent coaching session here to get ideas for your family. Book your session here!