Empathy, Really?

Are you freaking kidding me?  This kid has kicked me, scratched me, bit me, broken my favorite things, run off, told lies about me and to me, stolen things from everyone I know and YOU want me to show him empathy?  I know he went through a lot in his first few years. I know! But this is five years later and he acts like I did it to him.  He doesn’t care about anything, let alone me.  He has to be punished for his behavior or he will never learn.

First, I empathize with YOU. What you are going through every day with your very challenging child is painful and tiring and I know you are on the edge of hopelessness. Me, too. I have felt all of these things, too. I can see you are brokenhearted and desperate to have peace in your family.

YOU can do this, but it will be hard and take all the strength and determination you have.  Yes, empathy in the face of trouble is the first step toward turning this all around.  It will not be fast and it will not be easy.  It will be a daily practice of mindfulness, self-care, and love to be the “adult in the room.” It has taken me years to become that adult. Years. That was my personal journey.  Who knew that I had so many childhood wounds that would be healed along the way to learning how to love my attachment challenged children?

Ready or not, this is your journey.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love Matters,

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

Every journey begins with one step.  Why not empathy?
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