We had a wonderful Mentoring Mothers Meeting last week where we discussed the Mentoring principles of Empathizing and Responding to those we teach (particularly our chidren!). Here are some brief notes on what was discussed:
What helps you to be more empathetic?
recognize our natural gifts at empathizing and using them
pray to be humble
be more aware of the subtle & simple
put aside selfishness (what I want to do right now vs. they need me)
One mother expressed our own need to be recharged by them. So, if your child wants to do something with them or needs to be listened to, let the answer be yes (right then or set a different specific time to meet together). This will revive you, too. :-)
What is the first thing to go when life gets a bit chaotic?
Time for me
Health (sleeping and eating habits)
This reminded us that though the world teaches a false sense of needing "me time" we still do need to remember to give ourselves permission to meet our own needs an dhave empathy for ourselves as well. The "You, not Them" principle of TJEd teaches us that we are important and sets the environment in our homes. Again, not in the selfish way of only devoting time to ourselves, but in an orderly way that allows us to then meet the needs of our children.
How do we learn to listen better?
though we need to be reasonable, sometimes we need to simply force ourselves to stop and listen
have an orderly environment (keep some empty space in your home, you can't have order in physical space if you don't have order in your relationships & finances, etc.)
mentally being present
eye contact makes all the difference!
We also took a tangent to talk about raising self-reliant children and remembering that we need to train them and not just expect things from them. Leading our children to scriptures and prayer by doing so when helping them solve their own problems. Another good way in responding to them is by asking questions such as "What are you going to do about it?" and "What do you need from me?" This will help them to trust you, the relationship and give them confidence that they can work through the problem.
Kunich & Lester stated 4 ways in which we can positively respond:
1. Mentors must truly listen
2. An effective mentor must
3. A mentor should be available much of the time
4. A responsive mentor does not merely react to a protege, but is proactive...[and] anticipate needs, problems and concerns.
The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families--How they Do It by the Duggars
7 Habits of Highly Effective People (especially chapter 5) - Stephen R. Covey
I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better - Joy & Gary Lundberg