The value of empathy

Syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette of San Diego offers an interesting look at struggling parents and the needs for patience and empathy in our society. I couldn’t agree more — and on so many levels.

Yes, there are a lot of douche-bag “guardians” but there also is a group of caring and loving families taking care of average children who are, well, being children.

I think society often expects children to live up to some tight, controlling and irrational standard when perhaps it’s the adults who could stand to take a chill pill.

Kids are learning to express their emotions and aren’t perfect. They can tire easier than adults, too.

One afternoon before my night shift, I just had to get milk for my family and it was near my 3-year-old daughter’s nap time. She was great the whole time. And then, we were at the checkout. She began crying and screaming. I was taken aback because she’s never like that. Trying to gain a calm control of her as she’s thrashing around and trying to push my cart, holding the milk and my purse … not a good picture and I was completely embarrassed. Of all the people staring and probably making judgments, two men stepped up. One took my cart; the other carried my other items so that I could carry my girl to the car. Both were so nice and shared their empathy. “I’ve got kids and they just sometimes do that. Don’t worry,” one said, who also was a clerk at the SMart we were at.

Right as I drove away, my daughter said she was sorry and then crashed out hard.

Would love your thoughts:
Offer patience, not glares, to struggling parents

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  • Blog Author

    Christine Teldeschi

    Christine Teldeschi is editor of the LENS section and the TimeOut tab of The Record. She and her husband are raising their two children in Stockton with a live, love and lots of laughs approach to parenting. Read Full
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