Silhouette of a family under a tree with the moon in background. Spiritual Answer to Family Conflicts

Parent Like an Empath

Eden’s Corner is proud to introduce

Nicole McTaggart

as a guest writer on our Family page.

 

Nicole is a stay-at-home mom and her education and experience with small children make her a passionate expert. Her website is chockful of intelligent parenting advice and entertaining anecdotes sure to enrich your parenting experience. 

 

Nicole’s passions exemplify the parenting values and beliefs we hold dear at Eden’s Corner:

 

Nutrition & Healthy Food

Child Development

Green Living

 

We know you’ll love her natural, common sense style to nurture your happy and healthy family.

Parent Like an Empath by Nicole McTaggart

Parent Like an Empath

 

As an empath, or a Highly Sensitive Person, I am significantly (and annoyingly) tuned in to my surroundings. I'm basically overly aware of external stimuli. Crowds of people can send me into a tailspin of anxiety, loud noises verge on painful, and I feel the emotions of others as if they were my own. These situations leave me feeling like my body and mind are "buzzing" with too many emotions and it can be very stressful and draining. But some time alone in a calm environment could get me back into balance.

 

I didn't realize how much it would affect me as a parent until my son was born. He's always been a high needs child who slept very little and required many hours of being held or rocking or snuggled.

Parent Nicole holding her son. Like an Empath

Stepping away to do anything while my baby was upset was too much to even think about. It was hard for my husband to understand why the sound of our son's whining and crying often made me overwhelmed and tearful myself. He would remind me that it was okay to let him whine a bit so I could finish dinner, but how could I focus on anything but the sad frustration of my infant? My empathetic parenting can also come across as helicopter parenting, meaning that I am highly alert when around my son and can be a worrier.

To stay sane, it's meant that I require much more alone time as well as frequent de-stressing techniques like deep breathing. The good news is that children of empaths are happier, healthier, and more well balanced kids. This is because empathetic parents are more responsive to their children's needs and emotions, not to mention that it's an everyday lesson on empathy.  But you really don't have to be an empath or highly sensitive to draw on these benefits. All humans are capable of great empathy, or at least sympathy, and simply being a parent creates an empathetic connection just waiting to be utilized.

Nicole with here son. Parent Like an Empath

Here's how we can parent like an empath:

 

Name and validate emotions 

When a child is upset, naming and validating their emotions helps to make them feel understood and teaches them about their own scary feelings. Remember, children are not born understanding how they feel and what to call their emotions.

 

Draw attention to the experience of others

Help a child to wonder about the feelings and experiences of others. For example, if another child that is throwing a tantrum, ask them why they think the other child is upset. Could they be hungry? Tired? Frustrated? It helps to draw on their own experiences, too. This is also a great thing to do instead labeling someone as "mean" or "bad".

 

Explain everything

Tell children about your reasons for rules and your own emotions. I often explain to my son that he is not allowed to jump on the bed because he would get hurt, which would make both of us feel very sad. It's okay to feel sad, angry or frustrated, and explaining that to your child helps them to understand human experiences as normal.

 

Listen to and respect our kids

Part of being an empath is helping others when they need it. It requires listening, empathizing, and providing the correct kind of support to make them feel better. When we listen to our children and respect them as emotional humans, we are providing lessons on how they can do the same for others.

 

Tune in to your surroundings

Pay attention to the actions of others, to the weather, to potentially dangerous situations, to the sights and sounds of what's around us. It's not about being paranoid or overly-anxious, it's just about being aware and present.

 

Trust your instincts

Above all, trust your intuition. All parents, naturally sensitive or not, have their own intuition and gut feelings. Trust them. You know your child best and it's important to remember that.

You can find more wonderful articles from Nicole 

Here at

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