Empathy absorbs tons of pain; maybe not all, but lots. It also connects people. It strengthens bonds between people. Empathy helps when your child is in pain. It lets your child know that you got it–you know they are hurting.
Empathy is also great when delivering a consequence as it separates loving your child from setting the consequence, allowing you to do both. “I know you are mad at me, and since you didn’t let me know where you were, will you please sweep the front porch.” In this example, you can take care of the emotional suffering your child is experiencing while also remaining firm with the limit.
Here is a video that shows the difference between empathy and sympathy.
The Power of Empathy: Animated | Fast Company via Lifehacker.com