Understanding why is fairly simple. Consequences delivered with empathy create responsibility. Consequences delivered without empathy create resentment.
So we have a choice: Will we raise responsible kids or resentful ones?
Will we end up in a nice nursing home or a nasty one?
Yes. Understanding why empathy is the most important skill is simple. Empathy preserves the relationship and makes it very hard for our kids to blame us for their poor decisions.
Really using sincere empathy on a consistent basis is the hard part!
We've spent over two decades studying people who've been successful with this. What do they have in common? They use just one empathetic statement regardless of what consequence they must provide.
That's right. They keep it simple!
They also pick one that fits their personality and culture. Some folks always precede consequences with, "That is so sad." Others prefer, "Oh, man."
Some parents say, "What a bummer." Others prefer, "Bless your heart."
Tape this note on your bathroom mirror as a reminder.
© Love & Logic Institute