Harnessing Empathy for Academic Success: Insights from the Parent Academy Event with Emilia Ilieva-Kraynova

24 Jan 2024

The British School of Sofia recently hosted an enlightening Parent Academy event, spotlighting the crucial role of empathy and effective communication in nurturing children's learning abilities. Graced by the expertise of Emilia Ilieva-Kraynova, a celebrated figure in non-violent communication, the seminar titled "Learning to Learn: Concentration and Focus for Children" offered invaluable insights for parents striving to support their children's educational journey.

As Emilia Ilieva-Kraynova pointed out, learning is not an innate skill but a cultivated one that evolves throughout our lives. This evolution is particularly evident in the transition from early childhood, where learning is intertwined with play and enjoyment, to the more structured, goal-oriented learning environment of school. It is during this transition that the guidance of parents becomes paramount.

The key to aiding children in this transition lies in making them aware of the broader purpose of learning. Understanding that education paves the way for a life enriched with better opportunities, achievements, and an overall improved quality of life can motivate children. This understanding helps them to see beyond the immediate tasks and appreciate the long-term value of their educational endeavours.

Central to Emilia's seminar was the concept of empathy as the bedrock of all effective communication. She employed a compelling analogy – attempting to pour water into an already full bottle. This illustrated that before we can impart new knowledge or advice to children, we must first help them to 'empty' their existing burdens. These burdens could be daily chores, responsibilities, or emotional challenges that fill their capacity to absorb new information.

Emilia emphasized the importance of creating a safe and tranquil environment for children, one that encourages them to open up about their feelings and concerns. This space could manifest in various forms, such as a quiet, casual activity that fosters genuine conversation and a sense of peace. In these moments of sharing and unburdening, a child becomes receptive to advice and guidance.

The seminar concluded with a powerful message on the significance of empathy-driven communication. By establishing a mutual understanding and a foundation of compromise, parents can more effectively guide their children through their academic and personal challenges. This approach not only aids in their immediate learning requirements but also instils valuable life skills that will serve them well into adulthood.

The Parent Academy event with Emilia Ilieva-Kraynova was an enlightening experience, underscoring the vital role of empathy in supporting children's learning processes. Parents can significantly enhance their children's ability to focus and succeed academically by fostering an environment of understanding and open communication. This event is a testament to the British School of Sofia's commitment to holistic education, where academic success is harmoniously balanced with emotional well-being.

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