Sugar Plum fairies and fa la la la la are not the only things that come with the winter holidays. So does a parent’s worst fear that she has raised the spoiled child she swore she would never have. At no other time of year do the cries of “Gimme Gimme!” echo so loudly across our land. A case of the gimmes is not limited to the well-off. Parents across a wide range of incomes are plagued by concerns that they are raising a spoiled, ungrateful child. But here’s the truth of the matter: having … [Read more...] about Redirecting the Holiday Gimmes
Cultivating empathy is a hot topic in the parenting world. Current research has demonstrated that children under a year not only have the capacity for empathy but actually exhibit empathy. (Regarding infants: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201306/empathy-appears-in-infancy-varies-age-and-gender Regarding toddlers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX6krHsZA_w .) But parents, usually not educated to recognize and encourage this trait in their very young children, are … [Read more...] about Empathy is a Two Way Street
There is a dilemma that accompanies the winter holiday season that is rarely discussed out loud. It certainly is a topic that is dominating my parenting groups this month. That is, how do parents deal with grandparents who want to do as they please with their grandchildren when it comes to celebrating the gift-giving holidays. They might over-gift the grandchild, even though they have been asked to put on the brakes. They might give an item specifically forbidden by the parents. Or they might … [Read more...] about Grandparents and Gift Giving: An Unspoken December Dilemma
It isn’t usually until the fall that I begin to hear chatter about parents wanting their kids to find their passion, who are eager to enroll their kids in specialized, extra curricular classes. I have already weighed in on this topic, kids finding passion. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/betsy-brown-braun/finding-their-passion-rea_b_991621.html. Eye roll. But this year the search for passion’s ignition key seems to be arriving early, right along with summer. Children are signed up for a week … [Read more...] about Knowing Your Child
Current research on the topic of empathy in children points to likelihood that infants as young as 6 months have the ability to demonstrate empathy. Whether or how empathy develops as the child grows is a whole different story. Here we go again, nature vs nurture. A recent experience points to an answer. Shockingly, I recently stared cancer in the face. Even I, the healthiest person I know, did not escape the reach of the Big C. A totally successful surgery was followed by a less successful … [Read more...] about Circle the Wagons. How children learn to express empathy.
I’ve just returned from a funeral. A friend’s husband, father of five, died way before his time was up. And it was a five Kleenex affair. My mirror neurons, the ones that make you match the emotions of others, were hard at work. (You know when someone yawns, and you yawn? Those are your mirror neurons.) But the tsunami of tears I experienced went beyond my sympathy or empathy. They started when his children then his wife spoke about their father/husband. Each of the kids, now grown and … [Read more...] about How Will Your Kids Remember You?