A mom warned her two-year-old son, Sam, repeatedly not to stand on the chairs. However, he decided to it anyway. This time the chair tipped, Sam fell off and broke into tears. His mom scolded him saying “How many times have I told you not to stand on that chair? This is why you need to listen to me!” Sam cried a little harder feeling even worse.
It’s hard not to say a version of “I told you so!” in situations like this. How would Sam feel if instead his mom gave him a hug and said “How sad you fell off the chair”? When we express empathy instead of anger, we build loving relationships with our children while letting them learn from the consequences.