Empathy Requires Compassion

Compassion

Here's something that's on MamaBear's mind this morning.

You got kids?

Great!

You got kids who have to interact with the world?

Mmmmhmmm.

Well, consider this.

One of the biggest skills that MamaBear teaches her cubs is to walk in others' shoes before slamming on the "OMG you're an utter idjut!" hat to their friends.

Y'know?

So often, she'll MamaBear hears about how this kids' friend was selfish or that kids' friend was clueless or the other kids' friend is just plain stupid.

And the first thing she does is say,

"Woah!  Have you considered all of the ghosts, baggage and other issues that might be assailing that person?"

For some strange reason, children were *not* born with empathy.

Hell, many adults fail dismally in that department too!

It's so easy for a parent to empathize with the child like so:

"You're completely right!  You're the injured party!  That kid is worthless beyond belief, you're 100% correct."

And y'know, that just plain frosts MamaBear's petunias….*big time*.

We're talking bigger than a breadbox, bigger than The Donald's ego, bigger than MamaBear's heart.

Pretty huge-like indeed.

See, the sad fact is, the world does *not* revolve around your child.

It doesn't even revolve around MamaBear, alas.

Instead, your kid needs to embrace that perhaps there are underlying issues that cause the strife in the first place.

  • Maybe the kids' parents are going through a divorce.
  • Maybe the kid just received a 79 on his Math test that he was sure he aced.
  • Maybe the kid is learning-disabled, and doesn't know how to handle friendship.
  • Maybe the kid experienced something that caused ghosts from November and February to rear up their heads again.

See what MamaBear means?

When your child comes to you and complains about someone, sure, their points are entirely valid.  Be sure your child recognizes you feel that way.

But next….take the time to offer up just *why* the problem might have occurred.  In other words…

Encourage your child to think on the "what if's?".

  • "What if…the kid took got hurt from your actions because said actions reminded them of a painful time in the past?
  • What if…the kid's family life is lousy, and it all just got to her?
  • What if…the kid has no idea that you're feeling this way, and it's all a big misunderstanding?

It's very easy for children to focus on how they themselves are hurting.  Actually, it's human nature…most people will look out for number one before anyone else.

But…you need to teach your children compassion as well.

They do *not* have to agree with the kids' actions….but perhaps viewing their situation with compassion might help them *understand* it better as well.

And that, in turn, will help them develop stronger and longer-lasting bonds of friendship to boot.

Parent well,

MamaBear

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