Parenthood Can Restore the Selfhood We Lost in Childhood

Cultivating Empathy in Children  

When children receive empathy and restful relationships, they feel safer expressing vulnerable emotions and grow in resilience. 

When children feel heard and are understood, they are more willing to hear and understand other people. 

Empathy makes all emotions feel safe whilst communicating that not all behaviour is. 

We teach empathy plus peaceful boundaries by healthily expressing and listening to emotions, without using fear, shame, blame, judgment, or criticism. 

When children feel safely loved and understood, they can freely seek to love and understand themselves and others. 

Pam Leo was right: “When a child feels better, they behave better.” 

Behaviour is always communication. Behaviour communicates what we are feeling, believing and needing. 

Children cannot be responsible for adults’ feelings, core beliefs or needs. 

Children’s brains are not fully developed so they need a trusted adult to help regulate their emotions, nurture their hearts and minds and help fulfil their needs. 

Adults’ brains are fully developed, often with conditioned behaviour, limiting beliefs, unmet needs, ineffective coping mechanisms and triggers. 

We are in this together

To break the cycle of children taking responsibility for adults’ feelings, core beliefs and unmet needs we have to begin healing ourselves through inner nurturing and education. 

Understanding emotions, discovering limiting beliefs and taking care of our own needs liberate our children to do the same for themselves. Earlier.  

Maturity has less to do with age, and more to do with understanding the role of emotions and the power of right relationship. 

It’s not easy for the broken to become the menders but with gentle practice, deep inner healing ripples out into relational healing. 

“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.”  – Clarissa Pinkola Estés 

Be the Love You Need  

If there is a time in your life that still causes you fear or pain, intentionally touch it with love each day until it feels less scary and unbearable. 

All your emotions are valid messengers. 

What are they trying to tell you? 

Honour your feelings. 

Honour the healing journey back to love. 

Honour the person you are. 

You are LOVE💓 

“To heal is to touch with love that which was previously touched by fear.” – Stephen Levine.     

With all my love, 
Lelia, Synergy Parenting South Africa


Lelia Schott is a South African mother to four sons and two daughters (aged 22, 20, 18, 15, 8 and 5). Lelia is a certified parent coach, unschooler, independent researcher, writer, dreamer, peaceful parenting and child advocate, lover of nature, music and exercise. On her best days she can be found with her family in the garden, swimming or walking along the beach.

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