Imagine three scenarios.
You’re holding your child on your lap. Your child is sobbing and screaming at the top of their lungs, curled up against you.
In one scenario, they have just tripped, fallen, and banged their head on the floor.
In a second scenario, their block tower has just fallen over.
In a third, they have just asked you for extra screen time, and you have told them no.
Most of us would feel the most empathetic in the first scenario, maybe moderately so in the second, and less or perhaps not at all in the third.
But the behavior is exactly the same. The screaming and the way it sounds in your ears is exactly the same. Why is your feeling in response to them different?
Because YOU interpret it differently: YOU are the difference.
The good news is that means that you can change it, because you can always change yourself. You can go through the motions even if you don’t feel it. You can comfort your child (and, if needed, still confidently hold a limit you believe is important) in all three of the scenarios. And the more you practice, the more it’ll become second nature.