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Empathy is the highest form of understanding. When raising a child, i would certainly start there.

That's all that is needed from a parent: genuine, and fully embodied empathy.

Backing off is not the answer. Neither is controlling. Engaging empathically is all that we as parents need to do. There are two concepts here: engagement And empathy.

True empathy is easier to achieve in parent->child relationship than any other kind of relationship.

Engage empathically. The child will lead their own growth as a conversation with you, the parent, and their environment. So listening deeply (beneath the words and behavior) to the child is the first order of business, not backing off.

Parengs should spend time being with their kids rather than take time away from their kids to write crappy articles or comment on HN (An advise that I should take, too, obviouslh :)




Empathy is always a good place to start; and I generally agree with what you've said. However...

> True empathy is easier to achieve in parent->child relationship than any other kind of relationship.

I disagree with the above statement. Empathy is easiest when attachments are fewest. This does not describe the typical parent-child relationship. I think parent->child empathy may be easy for many because they are very much like their children and their children are going through very similar experiences to their own. I, on the other hand, have lead a very different life than the life my child is very fortunate to be living. I am fortunate my child is similar to me in many aspects so I do get glimpses of understanding; but my child is also very different from me so it is not always easy.

Not to toot my own horn, but people have praised me for both my empathy towards others and my parenting skills. I work very hard at being a good parent. I am very attentive. I listen. I consult. I read. I think, and I act. But I find empathy to be probably most difficult in this relationship than in any other I've had.


I too think you're a very good parent because you are engaging with the goal of arriving af empathy, no matter how hard may be. That's the key I suppose, not how hard or easy it is. Thanks.




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