08 February 2009

empathy

empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner


This past week was my second week attending the Love & Logic parenting course taught by my amazing and truly exemplary sister-in-law Heather. She had told me about these tapes and cd's over a year ago, and I truly thought, "No thanks. I'm good."

I remember her telling me
a little later why she liked this philosophy and method of parenting and she said, "I just feel like the way that Love and Logic teaches us to parent is really how our Heavenly Father parents us."

That struck me with force this week.
I have been looking to prove that point to myself for the past 4 days. And here is what I came up with:

1. It is winter here. I like my children to be protected from the elements. Last night I was taking Lilli to Grandma's house so I could go to the fashion show at the school. She didn't want to bring a jacket. In the past, I would have forced her. Instead I said, "You should probably take a jacket, it's cold outside." "I don't want a jacket." "Okay, but you might be cold." "I don't care." "Okay." No fight. No fuss. Just a choice and possible consequences.

How often do we feel like we should spiritually put on our jackets - but instead we say, nope - I'm good? Does Heavenly Father FORCE us to put on our jackets? No we always have a choice, and then we have the consequences. And if we come back cold, and our toes are numb, does He laugh and say, "See? I told you, you dummy?" No. He shows us empathy and unconditional love. And He lets us have our consequences.

2. Today Mercer was tired and struggling to get along with his brother. He then said a phrase that is pretty common in our house- "This is the worst day of my life." In the past I would roll my eyes and sarcastically say something like, "Sorry. Get used to it." Or, "If you think this is the worst day of your life, wait til tomorrow...." or something really wonderful like that. Now I am retraining myself to, like I did today, crouch down and give him a big hug and say, "I'm so sorry buddy. It's no fun having the worst day is it?"

One huge eye opening point I got from this past week is

EMPATHY SOAKS UP EMOTION.

Immediately Mercer was no longer mad at me, no longer worried about Dexter, instead he felt safe and understood.

I have proved this statement several times in the past 4 days.
I am less angry. Less stressed out. Less worried about the fighting. Less and less like the parent I used to be. And more and more like the Parent I want to be.

Thank you to Heather for this awesome course. For sharing your time and experiences with us. It has and is really changing our family for the better. More like we should be. :)

Kevin & Heather & 7 children

If you are interested in taking the Love & Logic course for the next session starting in April, let me know.



8 comments:

Luke and Mel February 8, 2009 at 9:41 PM  

Totally interested. Everyone I know that has taken the course has loved it.

ALEX & KARI February 8, 2009 at 10:15 PM  

How fun to see a picture of Heather, Kevin, and their cute family. I think the last time I saw them their oldest was a baby.

That course sounds great!

Nicki February 8, 2009 at 10:19 PM  

wow, randi! You've intrigued me! This sounds great! Tell us what you learned in the first class! If I lived near you, I'd totally be attending these classes! Will you post the next class lesson, too?

Candy February 9, 2009 at 9:19 AM  

I would like to take it. You totally sold me on it. Of course all I have to do is think of my little guy in that hospital bed and I magically turn into a better parent! Thanks for sharing... and thanks for the great meeting Sat. I appreciate your time and talent!

Sharla February 9, 2009 at 9:55 AM  

I am so jealous I am not there to take that class. I've been trying to read more "Love and Logic", they have fun and helpful ideas. Although, I feel hopelessly flawed!

The Wright Stuff February 9, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

I meant to ask you about how I could take this class the first time you blogged about it. I would LOVE to take it! Can you text me the details? That is so awesome how it is helping family life be more like it should be! LOVE AT HOME! :)

Jessica February 9, 2009 at 4:30 PM  

Loved the coat analogy. Also, loved the empathy soaks up emotion thing.

now. If I only had ONE kid to practice L & L on, I might be slightly more successful!

Alison February 9, 2009 at 9:31 PM  

I thought you were already a practising Love and Logic parent! Like your bloged rule about dinner: you don't have to eat it, you can go hungry if you want to and you may eat it cold for breakfast... That is L & L!
I actually haven't finished the book, but I love it! The first few chapters alone have changed the way I parent. I would take classes for sure!

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