The Family Virtues Guide:
Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves
Parent as Counselor
Strategy 5: Offer the Art of Spiritual Companioning™
Counseling is a big part of a parent's job description. It seems as if every day with a child brings a skinned knee or a hurt feeling. To be a spiritual counselor is to offer more than your compassion. It is to support your child when he faces a moral dilemma. It is to assist the child to find resolution rather than doing his spiritual work for him. The virtues-based approach to the role of counselor is one which is highly respectful, and honors the child's ability to find her own truth in a context of virtues.
There is a big difference between sympathy, empathy, and companioning. Sympathy is when you feel sorry for someone, empathy is when you can feel their feelings, and companioning is when you bring compassion and detachment together so that you can walk intimately with others without taking on their feelings as your responsibility.
To listen another's soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery is almost the greatest service that any human being ever performs for another.
– Douglas Steere