Interview for kidsandmentalhealth.com, February 2021
Interviewer: Lisa Tabachnick
Parents are always searching for ways to aid in their kids’ mental health & wellness – especially nowadays. This might mean providing teachers with a heads-up about their child’s ADHD; getting the fam outside to exercise and blow off steam or sharing simple but special times together.
Today, we’re taking a look at the “EQ” side of things: Compassion & empathy. Elisa Udaskin and I are old friends from high school. Now living separate lives in different countries, we reunited recently in the shared interests of writing, entrepreneurship and children’s mental health.
Elisa is the parent of two teenagers and the founder of Caring Organizer, a website dedicated to “providing tips and tools to be supportive in the most efficient and compassionate way.”
In addition to running her website, in 2020, Elisa wrote Be A Mensch: Unleash Your Power to Be Kind & Help Others in an effort to bring awareness to the power of kindness regardless of one’s age, gender, background or ability. And boy did she have foresight! Compassion, empathy, understanding, and not judging others all take a front seat in 2021 while people around the world continue to deal with the effects of the pandemic.
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Kindness Q & A
Here’s our short Q&A illustrating how “being a mensch” (Yiddish for “being a good person”) can help kids and families thrive.
Lisa: As parents, how do you think we can be more “mensch-like” with our own children?
Elisa: Being a mensch is being a good, honourable person. Doing good things for others and behaving and acting in a nice way. I really do believe that we are all mensches, however we don’t always put our mensch hat on. Life is so busy and stressful at times, especially during these times when we are all together with our immediate families in close quarters. We are bound to have our “moments” with our kids. To be more “mensch-like” with our own children, I think it’s about active listening. Most of the time we talk to our kids rather than with them. The ultimate mensch thing to do is to carve out time – even if it’s a few minutes at a time – to actively listen to your child and engage with them without having other distractions. They will feel heard and see by your example how to really respect others as you respect them.