Compassion is the act of completely removing yourself and your personal feelings from the equation and thinking selflessly about someone else.
Couldn't we all use a little more of this in our day to day lives? Don't we all have moments where we feel misunderstood or under appreciated?
What about our children? Fresh new minds on this planet, attempting to figure things out while growing at light speed and yet sometimes I hear parents, and even myself, saying things like "you know better" or "why did you do that?" paired with a look of disappointment or disapproval. This is a feeling, and feelings matter. However choosing compassion is the game changer.
I am not a perfect parent. I believe this to be an unobtainable goal that no-one can live up to. We are all human, just trying to do our best, with whatever life places in front of us. Imagine, if we each take this mantra, and remind ourselves throughout our day, week and beyond, to choose compassion, for ourselves, our partner and our children, imagine for a moment just how much of an impact that could have on everyone's life!
When your newborn baby wakes up for their sixth feeding in the middle of the night, choose compassion, they're hungry! While you might feel completely out of it and barely holding on, this is a very important relationship being built, step by step. They need you, and by being there you are supporting every facet of their development.
When your busy baby continues to chew on their new board book, choose compassion, they're exploring! Their teeth are coming through, and their senses are just beginning to figure out the world around them. They might be soothing their painful gums or figuring out that a book is hard, either way they are learning.
When your toddler continues to grab their toys out of the hands of a visiting friend, choose compassion, these are their toys! They love them all, and until this friend came over, they were all his at any given moment. Sharing is a tough concept. They aren't quite at a place of understanding that they aren't gone forever, but they will soon.
When your preschooler wets the bed three nights in a row, choose compassion, it's so hard! Waking up out of a dead sleep to go pee is tough work, especially if you are having the age old dream of peeing in your sleep! They are trying their best, and will get there eventually.
Choosing compassion takes effort and practice. We won't all have the mindset at every hurdle to choose compassion instantly, but being aware of the benefits and even saying sorry soon after and trying again, is all you can do. An effort to do better, be more understanding and support rather than extort is how we transform practice to habit.
Day by day we are investing in our child's emotional intelligence while investing in our own. Choose compassion as often as you can, and watch life flourish.
Show love, grow love
Happy Living Parents
Interested in knowing more about emotional intelligence? Check out this episode of Zen Parenting Radio's podcast here.