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Does Your Child Have an Empty Heart?

Posted Aug 28 2010 6:25pm

Read about Empty Heart, if you are a parent who acts as if your children don't feel.  Please read about Empty Heart, if you have purposely, inappropriately or unwittingly rejected or unnecessarily been angry towards your children.

Empty Heart is the way a 10-year-old described how she was feeling.  What she verbalized was a parent's nightmare.  None of us parents want our children to have Empty Hearts.

I asked her why her heart was empty.  She told me "me and my mother got into a fight and my mother said "I'm not going to call you or talk to you and I don't even want to come pick you up today."  I asked her what she said.  She said "I want to go home" referring to her father's home.

I asked her how she was feeling.  She said "On my Sad Scale, I'm at an 8 out of 10".  10 was the highest degree of sadness.  She was upset and kept on crying. She identified her feelings as:

  • Hatred
  • Sad
  • Emptiness
  • Angry
  • Scared.

Wow!  She was able to describe her feelings better than many adults.

I asked her to make a drawing of what she was feeling.  She drew an Empty Heart and a Full Heart.  I asked her to describe her drawing of an Empty Heart.  She drew half of the heart in brown, because "I feel like poop and I don't feel loved".  She told me that the veins were drawn in red, because the "veins are filled with anger".  She drew part of the heart in burgundy, because I feel "sad and upset".  She also filled in part of the Empty Heart with the color black, because "I feel anger".  She stated that she feels like her "heart is out in the open".   She went on to say that she felt that "anyone could hurt me".

I asked her about her light-colored, pink and red Full Heart.  She stated that when she had a Full Heart, "I feel  loved and cared for".  She went on to say that "people who love and care for me have Full Hearts".  She then told me that the people with "Full Hearts told me to love my mom rather than being angry".  She went on to say that the people with Full Hearts told me to "don't feel bad about life and feel good about my joys".

Parents with Full Hearts can fill the the Empty Hearts of their children.  Especially in a divorce situation such as in this family, parents with Full Hearts can help their children by teaching and filling their children's Empty Hearts rather than unwittingly emptying their children's Empty Hearts further by over reacting to their children's pain and by talking badly about the other parent.

Remember, our children will live with Full or Empty Hearts depending on the choices we make as parents.

Dr. Hal

Life and Mental Fitness Coach

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