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From Conflict to Cooperation

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Week Two:  Empathy and Regulation

Download Handouts Here

Quick Recap:

We started by asking the following questions:

How do you define listening?

How do you know when your child is listening?

How does it feel when you think your child isn’t listening to you?

The answers were similar.

With a child, listening means they are doing what we're asking.

Feelings of frustration and powerlessness were universal.

Feeling at a loss for what to do. Some scenarios: Not liking school, not getting ready to go in the morning. Kid saying "I have plans!"

We defined empathy as the ability to recognize, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of another.

We defined self-empathy as the willingness to accept, without judgement, how we feel.  Self-empathy gives space before we react. Then we can respond from a more resourced place. We can be cycle breakers. 

We discussed the Seven Steps to Empathy and practiced with partners.

We closed with a 3-steps to self-acceptance practice, like this one.


  • Practice the Seven Steps to Empathy.

  • Try to identify your own feelings and needs when you are having a conversation with your child or partner.
  • Give yourself verbal self-empathy:  "I feel _____ because I am needing ______."
  • Give yourself nonverbal self-empathy:  (1) focus on the physical sensation of the feeling; (2) embrace this moment as a temporary teacher, here to communicate;  (3) expand into your left brain by labeling three feelings you're having;  (4) label the need.


Ask yourself:

  • Describe a scenario with your child or partner:
  • This is how I felt witnessing the scenario:
  • These are the unmet needs I was having in the moment:
  • These are the judgements I was having:
  • These are the fears I was having:
  • These are the beliefs I was having:

A Few More Resources

Blog about the importance of self-acceptance.

Video about addressing toxic shame (thanks, Megan!).

Questions? Answers? Comments?

You can email us at:



Here's the Zoom LINK for all sessions. 

See you next week!

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