Pandemic Parenting: Making Empathy Books for Children.
Pandemic Parenting – Supporting Children with Learning.
Parenting with Nonviolence Checking in.
Getting Through This Together.
Empathy books have been an amazing and powerful parenting tool that have helped my kids process various events and big feelings. My kids were 6 and 2 when we moved out of their dad’s house. After the custody was stepped up to include overnights at their dad’s, my 2 yo became very confused and distraught. Every morning he would wake up to ask where he would be that night, and cry inconsolably for 45 minutes if he found out he was going to his dad’s that night. This went on for a couple of months until Ruth encouraged me to make an empathy book about his two homes.
The book talked about his home with his mama and his home with his pa. It described his two bedrooms. It noted that his older brother was always with him at both homes. It showed a color coded calendar of when he was with mama and when he was with his pa. It said that mama and pa and his big brother loved him, and he loved them.
My son was not very verbal, but he took in everything when I showed him the book and the effect was immediate. Starting the next day, he no longer felt the need to cry in bed in the morning. It seemed like he understood that there was a structure in place, and it gave him enough narrative to not feel so confused. He also probably felt heard that I recognized his distress and was addressing his feelings. It was truly magical in how it helped to process his big feelings. Now I regularly make these books to hold them through any tough moments that otherwise might be never talked about and brushed under the rug. I have been able to show them that I care about their feelings, and that they are seen, heard, and loved.