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When You Come to the End of your Rope With Your Kids…Tie a Knot and Hold On πŸ˜°πŸ™πŸ½ let’s discuss Empathy

Ya so this picture was taken by my loving darling daughter Dylan in the midst of a raging fit I was having while yelling at them for the umpteenth time this summer.πŸ™„πŸ˜±πŸ€”πŸ˜‘πŸ˜€

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I mean this summer was for SURE the best summer of my life but let’s be honest it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns, or in my situation beaches and good sunsets. πŸŒˆπŸŒ…βœ–οΈWe got on each other’s nerves, the kids irritated the heck out of me at times, I got ZERO breaks from seeing their faces, sometimes that means their nasty little brat faces πŸ‘Ήand at times all I did was break up fights. Like little loving leaches they slept with me on 90% of the summer nights. πŸ’€πŸ’€So let’s just say many a times by tolerance and patience was thin. But I still wouldn’t change a thing because we had the most amazing summer together and saw and did so much it was incredible and if interested you can read here. β€οΈπŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’œΒ I came across an article I read and posted last summer on FB and a review and a reminder came at a perfect time…

The article by Andrea Nair is called ”
How To Be An Empathetic Parent Even When It Feels Hard”.
The full article can be read here and I recommend it because I know all parents relate. My friend pointed out that it can even relate to dealing with allΒ People not just your bratty kids. Hmm…πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

Here are the highlights:
Why can being empathetic be so hard?
We’re exhausted.
It is SO hard to understand another’s point of view or distress when we feel exhausted.
We feel overwhelmed by our stressors.
When financial, work, relationship, or physical stress sets in, we often cannot see past our own challenges.
We get caught in an avalanche of anger.
When we are about to snap, it is very hard to feel empathy for others.
We feel trapped and unable to get away.
We want to avoid the feelings another is experiencing.
Some parents might know exactly what their child is feeling, but just don’t want to feel or understand that fear or sadness.
We feel annoyed or impatient.
When we have something on our mind, such as a specific task to complete, we can get preoccupied with not getting that task done, and not be able to feel another’s distress.
We lack β€œaffect management skills.”
If a person doesn’t actually know how to tap into the feelings of another, and what to do about those feelings, empathy can be elusive. Affect management means being able to process and allow big feelings to move through us without being afraid of them.

This is what The author recommends (and I need to try) to increase empathy when doing so is hard:
-Stay in charge of self-talk by using the same mantra each time empathy is needed and emotions flare.
-Take control of exhaustion and a busy life. I made big changes to create space for myself. I am constantly trying to figure this out.

-Another excellent book with suggestions to help in this realm is Hands Free Mama, by Rachel Macy Stafford. OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK BEST EVER!!!!
-Don’t take another’s struggles, meltdowns, or freak-outs personally. Young children are not attacking you, they just don’t have the language or ability to communicate their intense emotions (yet). If your buttons are getting pushed, it is your responsibility to address that, not your child’s.
-Take charge of intense emotions, do not let them take charge of you. This is a process that requires learning skills and practice.
-And lastly, if any of the above feels impossible, it is time for some help.
The author has a great Facebook page with links, articles and words of advice that I recommend!
https://m.facebook.com/andrea.m.nair

HOPE THIS HELPS! It’s so hard to be empathetic sometimes with kids and I know I need to learn to take my own advice. πŸ€”πŸ™„πŸ˜›And hopefully
You don’t fall prey to a nasty child snapping your pic as you yell at them… πŸ™„πŸ€”πŸ˜‘πŸ˜€

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