We, pretty much all of us, believe that we were born as Empaths. And this is true to a certain extent. The probability is that we were much more predisposed to the Empathic nature, than some others were. And because of this extremely sensitive nature, it tended to set us apart from our peers who might have otherwise helped us block out our Empathic Natures and conform with the rest of our peer groups.
There are also cases of children, already on the road to conformity, who possess a moderate ability to block out their Empathic Natures, who will inadvertently suffer some form of illness, tragedy and/or trauma which will rip away what little control the child has over their Empathic Natures.
Although we might wish to put labels on these two types, and say one was more predisposed toward an Empathic Nature, in the long run this is a moot point. This is because we all arrived here with the same questions, concerns, fears, and insecurities. We came here looking for acceptance and understanding.
So what does all of this have to do with Empathic Parenting? Knowing what a child goes through, and understanding your own questions, concerns, and fears, will help bring about a much more empathetic form of parenting. It will help you learn the best methods to teach your child to use their Empathic Nature and balance it as they grow.
Certainly a discussion like this one, and all the others in Empathic Perspectives, would be beyond the understanding of a 5 yr old. But there are methods by which one can teach their child, even at such a young age. This is because children are like spongy mirrors, if that makes any sense. They watch, observe, and absorb information through their senses, particularly what they see. And then they mimic those actions with friends, siblings, imaginary friends, when they play house, and with their toys. It is their way of processing the information they have absorbed and reflecting it back in a tangible way.
So if your child sees you sharing, this information will be absorbed, stored away, and later become reflected through their play and/or interaction with others. In turn, if they see you beating an animal (not to say that any of you would in reality), this to is absorbed and later reflected through interaction with animals.
My daughter was diagnosed with ADD (without the hyperactivity). She was given to flights of fancy, or as we liked to call it, off in lala land. At the time she was a daydreamer and barely got through her first few years of school. She had a hard time not just academically, but with fitting in, as well. This was because she was also hyper-sensitive emotionally. At the slightest insult or scrape of the knee, she would collapse on the floor and begin to wail like a banshee.
So for her, we developed a practice of toughening her up emotionally, to help her to be able to handle the slights and insults other kids paid her on a daily basis. Sadly, there is only so much a parent can do when it comes to their child's social development. But what we could do, we did. Slowly but surely, because of this and her own natural maturation, things got better and she became stronger.
Quite a bit of my own understanding of her nature and my own, came through working with her over time. I began studying more and more about hyper-sensitivity and ADD/ADHD in the hopes of getting a handle on what was going on with my daughter, and to develop some kind of regiment which might help bring both her and I some balance.
The point here is simply this, in learning to understand my own Empathic Nature, both inside and out, it indirectly helped me to understand that of my daughter's Empathic Nature. And in learning more and seeing more through her eyes, it helped further my own understanding of my self. And with time, we learned and grew together.
So if you have Empathic Children, what methods do you use? How well do you understand the wants and needs of your children, based on what you know of yourself and them?
All of this is simply food for thought, as is everything here in Empathic Perspectives.