Above all of the experiences in life, being a parent is the most demanding yet the most rewarding experience when embraced fully.
The balancing required to maintain a healthy equilibrium is quite a task and particularly more so as an Empath. Some parents are very lucky to be able to have solid foundations, boundaries and tolerance limitations already addressed and respected in the home but for those that haven’t here are a few tips on how to be able to cope with your child/children and nurture both you and them and set a healthy emotionally stable environment.
Some tips to nurture your child as an ‘Empath’ Parent
1. Emotional drama is not tolerated well with Empaths at all so teaching your child to know the difference between a negative response and a positive response is imperative to their understanding of how not to become emotionally demanding for negative/selfish reasons.
2. Teaching the difference between the excitement for material things and the truth of how others in the world are not so lucky is very important to nurture respect and appreciation and when old toys and clothing have been finished with and is undamaged then to suggest a suitable charity for them to be taken to, I have found to be a great way to introduce my child to giving. Teaching awareness to a child is taking action whilst providing the mental tools to do so. This will create a natural appreciation by your child for what they have and how grateful they are to be luckier than others. Sharing and caring are the lessons that are at the top of the list. If there is a tantrum presented due to not wanting others to have their toys/clothes etc then my way of working with this is suggesting that by keeping them around, there will be no more room for anything else and they can be used instead of new ones needed to be purchased.
3. Teaching your child about your sensitivities and how you grew up and perceived things and how they do ‘positively’ helps them to bridge the gap between what is ‘weird’ and what is ‘acceptable’ in sensitivity. Those who aren’t Empaths will naturally think that Empaths are melodramatic and far too sensitive so it is very important to address your existence as one and develop a very good bond with your child by making them aware of what you feel/sense/experience as an Empath and what those that aren’t will not to such an extent. I find this emotionally nurturing for both child and parent. Obviously whilst doing so, acknowledging your child’s ability to be able to comprehend you is paramount. So by communicating at a level that they can effectively absorb the information and relate to it is best.
4. Teaching boundaries is one of the toughest tasks as a parent because as soon as you place one then your child is influenced by their social experiences and starts to compare what others can cope with and what you, as an Empath, cannot so much. This can put a strain on the relationship and bond you have as there is a risk of rebellion and demands placed on you due to your child wanting to be like others and do what others do which you may not be able to accommodate.
Personally, I have felt defeated at times myself by this very situation after so much effort going in to creating awareness within the home etc. A method I found very effective is by helping my child to appreciate how much variation they have in their life whilst they could go to school and do that ‘school’ thing and blend in then when coming home there is a sense of shutting the door and being close and letting go of having to be what others are and do what others are doing and having special times alone with parents without everyone else around. In effect it would be looked at as ‘more attention and me time’ from a child’s perspective and what is better than that!
5. It is important for you as an Empath to have a support network such as a family if you have them or a child minder to help with school runs, days out etc if you haven’t. There may be the financial issues around this not being possible so then you have to figure what is the less stressful way around coping with school and work combined. Some are lucky to have a good parenting balance and the other parent can take on what you cannot manage.But there are parents that have no extra support and are alone with their children and this is where it is important to be prepared and ahead of things as an Empath CANNOT be suddenly dropped in to something without expecting to have some very stressful responses personally. Planning is imperative and it is very important that the school staff are aware that you have certain things that limit you. I have learnt that by stating that I have ‘a nervous predisposition’ this is accepted. I can’t imagine using the term Empath to a NEM (non empath) without a knock on my door by a health visitor. But hopefully soon this will not be the case. Another way of addressing yourself is by being confident and asserting yourself as ‘highly sensitive’ as that is exactly what you are and it has to be respected. It does not make you any less of a good parent, in fact it makes you a better one due to your hyper awareness to the needs of your children and their emotional wellbeing.
6. Lastly, teaching your child the difference between confidence and being naturally nervous/ tense. This is a tricky one but can be mastered over time. As an Empath, you can be confident yet have a hyper aroused physical state due to your very sensitive nervous systems. So you may still exhibit nervous symptoms such as clammy hands, sweating, fast heart rate, adrenaline surges and sometimes headaches from exertion. Highlighting negative and positive emotions using graphics and art really helps channel your child’s ability to learn quicker. Colours are also effective in representing confidence as happy excitable and welcoming yet mixed with the teachings of how the body works (science) and how our nervous systems, as Empaths, are a little more fine tuned than most so this and that happens but it’s OK. This not only allows your child to accept you and not worry about what you experience but it teaches them compassion for those that are actually very sensitive.
The rule of ‘acceptance’ at a very early age is important to bring to your child to allow their emotional well being to integrate with yours without judgement and fear. I find by saying things like ‘this is my existence and you are choosing yours….. my experiences of life will be different from yours and our emotional experiences will be different but that is absolutely OK. We will enjoy sharing our experiences and create a lot of memories together’. It may be difficult but keep in mind that most of you as Empaths would not have grown up aware of what you were and mostly rejected/ tormented etc. Take this and use this an empowerment towards being a wonderful parent and educating your child in everything you never were educated in. That would be mostly the ‘Emotional Self’.