Workshop helps parents gain empathy insight, skills

Parents from Eastsound’s early childhood learning centers learned new techniques for empathizing with others — particularly their own children — in a workshop, January 10th. Presenter Rena Patty talked to parents about the value of empathy (the respectful understanding of what others are experiencing) in improving relationships and focused on ways parents could do this with their children. renapatty1

The key ingredients to empathy, she said, are intention, presence, focus and confirmation so we can connect with our children’s feelings and needs. Parents don’t have to solve every need but should recognize that behavior is often an expression of the need and desire to be understood. Empathy can help a family connect better.

The “Empathy for Parenting” program was part of the “Strengthening Island Families” series, produced by the four early learning centers and underwritten by an OICF grant matched by San Juan County ECEAP. This is the second in the series.