Empathizing with my children doesnt come naturally to me.
When I was little my feelings were frequently completely disregarded. I remember being told "too bad". I remember being yanked along by a much bigger and stronger person and how humiliating it was for my feet not to have purchase on the floor as I was led away from a situation. I remember being told to stop my crying and being utterly powerless to stop it because I wasnt crying to get my way, like they thought, I was crying because I was sad or angry or disappointed. No one seemed to care how I FELT, only how I behaved. I want SO much better for my kids. I want them to know that their feelings matter to me. Because they absolutely do. But those old patterns come out a lot for me. I don't know how to deal with the disappointment of a 4 year old who didn't get the right colored cup without telling her it doesn't matter and to get over it. Or the anger of a two year old who isn't happy that his sister got the last bite of the dessert we were all sharing.
Has anyone else had to work hard at empathizing with your small children? Can someone tell me itgets easier? That if I keep at it it will eventually come more naturally to me? I thought all parents felt this way about their kids' outbursts and emotional reactions, but I'm realizing that that is not necessarily true. I'm getting better slowly, and how they feel matters to me. I just don't know what to do except shut down.