Blog

Blog Tags


Tags: EMPATHY

Description:

Growing Humans

Nikky

We all have our pet fears, but whatever the specifics, the root is usually the fear of having to experience certain feelings. This often has its origins in childhood. We all want to avoid the feelings that were overwhelming to us as children.


For example, if we are subconsciously still trying to impress our parents, it’s possible that this habit comes from a fear of rejection - which would have very serious implications for a small child who is unable to survive without a caregiver. Therefore the fear of rejection is overwhelming for the child and it becomes embedded, carrying on into adulthood. Similarly we might harbour fears of abandonment or being emotional smothered, we may fear failure or even success, and would that we could locate the source, we may find all this started in our earliest years.

One of my favourite games when stationary in a traffic jam through a town or city is to study the passers-by and try to deduce what kind of child they were. In some people it’s difficult to tell, they inhabit their grown-up persona completely, and yet with others, the child they were is writ large, it’s easy to recognise the traits that defined them when they were young. They wear them as plainly as the clothes on their backs.

Growing humans is a delicate matter. Try as we might to develop, grow and mature, I’m afraid that whether superficial or buried deep, the heart and soul of the child we were lives on, and wields power, despite our best efforts.

The flip side of this is, of course, how we can try to prevent such unwanted baggage being carried forward into adulthood by our own children. It can help to encourage open conversations around emotions - including our own. We can share stories of overcoming our fears, but without negating the importance of the emotion itself. Children need to have their feelings acknowledged and validated, and then to see for themselves that they have no reason to become overwhelmed by them.

This isn’t an easy fix for anyone. Emotional maturity is a long and arduous quest, which some of us never complete (I’m looking at you, Mr. Trump) but with patience and persistence we can help our children learn not to be overpowered by their feelings, so that they can grow up free of buried fears that never leave them.

I've Got a Bone to Pick With You...

Nikky

When I was a little girl, these were the words I dreaded hearing coming out of my mother’s mouth. They always heralded a difficult topic, and were a signal for me to be on my guard. Mostly, whatever it was Mum wanted to talk to me about was never as bad as I had imagined it might be.

Read more

Can We Fix It?

Nikky

When people we care about have problems, there’s a strong compulsion to try to help, to fix things for them, to step in and make it all better. When we see a child struggling, it’s even more compelling to intervene, but is it always the right thing to do?

Read more

Let's Start at the Very Beginning...

Nikky

Earlier this year I read an interview with the female footballer Eni Aluko. Her perspective of finding her way in a male dominated field was both inspiring and depressing.

Read more

Teach EYFS Article - Empathy

Nikky

Here is another in my series of articles based on conversations with children, first published in Teach Early Years magazine. In each piece, I focus on one prominent theme. For this one, it’s EMPATHY. My thanks to editor Jacob Stow for allowing reproduction, and if you want to know more, details of this and their other magazines and resources are available at: https://www.teachwire.net

• What lesson would you like grown-ups to learn about how to talk to children?
. Try to think more like them.                                  
 (B - female)


Read more