Posted by: coachingparents | January 15, 2009

Empowerment of Children

By Becky Kapsalis

Empowerment is to give somebody a greater sense of confidence or self-worth.    I was in the greeting card section of a drugstore the other day when I heard the crying screams of a child.  I let it go for awhile until I realized that it was not a sound that was going to stop anytime soon. 

Without hesitation I walked over to the sounds to find a mother trying to console her 3 year old screaming daughter

“Can I help?” I asked the flustered Mom.

“Yes, could you please help me put her jacket on before we go outside?”  As I was struggling to put the child’s arms through the sleeves I spoke quietly to the little girl.  In a very calm voice, while she was still screaming, I tried to distract her attention by asking her if she could stop crying long enough to tell me what she needed.

 That didn’t work.  Her mother told me she was angry because she wouldn’t buy her a toy that she wanted.  With her mother’s permission I let the little girl know it was okay to let her hurt out but “screaming and kicking are not good choices.  You can hurt yourself.  You mom loves you and it upsets her to see you acting this way.”  That didn’t work either. 

By this time the mother is getting both frustrated and embarrassed.  I reassured her that no one is feeling the pain greater than she and empowered her to allow the child to let out her frustrations until she realized that her behavior was getting her nowhere.  I commended the mother for not over-reacting through forceful tones or anger.  This behavior on the part of the child went on for another 5 minutes. 

The whole time the mother , while sitting on the floor, holding her child in her arms, repeated to her it was okay to let her hurt out.  (Notice there is no mention of the toy, no suppressing of hurts.) While I was walking away I heard a deafening silence and was reassured that when we feel empowered – there isn’t anything we cannot handle.   Empower yourself to empower your child….one of the greatest gifts you can give.  I toast your spirit!


Bio:  Becky Kapsalis, a mother of 5 and a grandmother of 21, has taken on the role of ACPI Certified Coach for Parents to help families stay connected. She writes for a local Indiana newspaper, is an ACPI blog contributor, certified facilitator for Connection Parenting and Parent Talk programs, lecturer and Parenting by Heart according to Yiayia, Founder. Yiayia is the Greek name for Grandmother.  Her tag line is “Where you are I’ve been…..where I am you’re coming.”( )   Email:


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