“What you’re feeling makes sense”
That is the definition of EMPATHY. Communicating to my daughter that her feelings are important, AND that they make sense to me (even if I don’t necessarily agree) will do two very important things for her.
First—She’ll learn to trust herself
When I recognize that what she is feeling is real and valid and appropriate, then she starts to trust her own senses and awareness. If I constantly tell her, “You shouldn’t be feeling that way” then she starts to doubt and second guess herself.
Second—She’ll won’t need to go looking for someone else
When my daughter knows that I “get her” and I understand her, she won’t need to go looking for someone else who “gets her”. She will feel safe and secure (the primary need of all women) which will give me more opportunity to speak into her life and get to shape who she becomes as a young woman (an awesome and terrifying responsibility).
As I am willing to do something that doesn’t come naturally to me—trying to understand the mindset of an adolescent girl—I am communicating to Mychal that she is worth doing hard things for. She is valuable. She is important enough to be uncomfortable for.
She is precious. And I NEVER want her to forget it.
In This Episode
- Dad’s trying to understand daughters
- “MAN UP!”
- Dads doing hard things like listening to daughters
- “It’s nice knowing you’re listening.”
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