Do you know how to build trust? Trust is one of the most powerful parenting and relationship tools we have and is essential to giving and receiving empathy. Critical as our children get older, it is a huge piece of the connection we form that helps to give our words power and guide them through life’s storms.
This video is a great check up on the essential qualities of trust by Brene Brown. Click here to view the video.
Are you struggling with trust in any of your relationships? This video will help you breakdown which pieces might need a little TLC.
I love this quote. It always reminds me to lead with empathy.
Ever wonder why kids seem to change just when you think you have them figured out? Each day they go to school and have many small experiences we know nothing about. Something a friend comments on, the way a teacher looks at them…these experiences change them and tell them a little more about the world. Try to always approach your child’s experience with curiosity. They may not be the same as they were yesterday.
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.”
“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” – Abraham Lincoln
Over the thanksgiving weekend try this advanced challenge. It’s easy to empathize with the people most like us but can you empathize with your adversary? Think about someone you have a lot of conflict with – could be a co-worker, your sibling, parent, your neighbour or anyone who rubs you the wrong way. Now really make an effort to put yourself in their shoes and see what the world must look like from their perspective.
Our present actions are a reflection of everything we have been through. Millions of tiny experiences, accumulated through a lifetime, teach us about how to survive and get the love and attention we all crave as humans.
Unfortunately for some, those life teachings don’t always build positive coping skills or reinforce healthy relationship dynamics. Just truly seeing people for who they are and what they could be going through helps us take these interpersonal conflicts much less personally. This doesn’t mean we are justifying bad behaviour but instead understanding how it may have come to be. Can you be kind and empathetic to someone who pushes your buttons and may not return the kindness your way?
Your power resides, not in what you get in return from others, but in your own ability to give.
Talking to strangers gets a bad wrap in parenting circles but teaching kids to get curious about strangers is a powerful tool to build empathy. The more we know about people’s lives who are different than us, the easier it is for us to put ourselves in their shoes and broaden our world view.
Challenge yourself to have at least one meaningful conversation with a stranger this week in front of your child. Help them understand safe situations to strike up conversations with new people. This could be the person sitting next to you in the doctor’s office, a new teacher at the school, etc. Approach conversations with curiosity, an open mind and instead of the usual small talk, ask a question like “How is your day going?” and genuinely listen for their answer.
This simple activity builds empathy, curiosity and courage… all shown to help us thrive.
Featured image by Luca Bravo on Unsplash.
Most of our power resides in the choices we make and how we choose to think about our story.
This is so beautifully highlighted by Leah of True Heart Tribe in this blog and is so powerful in helping to reframe challenges for us and our kids.
Thank you for sharing your journey Leah! I know you make me a better parent.
Featured image by hiva sharifi on Unsplash.
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