Empathic Parenting: Decoding Paper Eating in Toddlers another’s feelings and experiences. Being an empathic parent means actively listening to your kids, not judging or criticizing them, and giving them space to talk through their emotions. It also means teaching them the skills to deal with negative situations.
Toddlers are a unique age group to study empathy development because they have new cognitive and emotional abilities, a larger range of behaviors, and more opportunities for social interactions than infants. Furthermore, toddlers are undergoing significant parenting changes from infancy to the preschool years, including a shift from authoritative to permissive styles of parenting (Zahn-Waxler & Radke-Yarrow, 1990).
The ABCs of Understanding Toddler Paper-Eating: Causes, Concerns, and Coping Strategies”
The ITSEA measures seven items assessing different aspects of empathy. Criteria and construct validity of the ITSEA was established through a comparison with other established survey measures, and child behaviors rated by researchers during home visits. Maternal warmth and reasoning were positively correlated with empathy at both Times 1 and 2, while inhibited temperament was negatively related to empathy at Time 1. Child emotional/behavioral problems mediated the relationship between parental cognitive empathy and child social competence, but not emotion regulation or parental discipline.
As an empathic mom, it is natural to want your kids to succeed and be happy. However, sometimes parents get caught up in the “helicopter parent” trap, where they try to protect their children from life’s disappointments and frustrations. This does them a disservice because it will be harder for them to cope when they encounter these difficulties as adults. Instead, be empathetic and help your kids find solutions to their problems, but don’t try to save them from feeling sad or disappointed.