You Deserve Respect

You Deserve Respect

What’s the difference between empathy and accepting mistreatment?

Empathy is the capacity to imagine someone else’s perspective—how that person sees the world. It’s an important skill to foster peace-giving relationships. We use it every day with our kids. We imagine crankiness is hunger in disguise. We imagine a tantrum is a cry for one-on-one time. These are good solutions to childishness in most cases. Sometimes we are off target. The child has pinworms. Our empathetic imagined reason was wrong.

Empathy gets trickier as human beings age. We guess an angry smart-mouthed teen is masking a failure on the soccer field so we offer cheerleading and reminders about how the next game will be different. We get back biting rebukes and a surly look, only to find out much later it was a broken heart (first love rejection by text-invisible to us).
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In our compassion, we misdiagnose…frequently. Where empathy goes south is when your projection of what must be happening turns out to be a thinly veiled excuse for someone else’s mistreatment of you. If you’re a peace-keeper and peace-maker, the tool called empathy can be used to diminish your needs—for kind treatment, for respect, for communication. The focus becomes how to understand why they are being cruel or abusive or angry, using you as an emotional punching bag. You may think “My husband had a rough childhood” or “My friend had an alcoholic mother”—this is why they are going nuclear on me. I can empathize.

That capacity to see the source of pain is not, however, an excuse for their out of order behavior.

Instead of empathy, in that moment, show up for your own needs. Name them. “I can’t be yelled at right now. I need you to master this emotion before we talk about it.”
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You might say: “I told you what I need. I’m happy to discuss it. I will not be punished.”
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It’s respectful to not guess why someone is misbehaving as well. Empathy is not a diagnosis. It’s the willingness to not know why and to accept that how it is for them is not how it is for you. You still deserve to be handled with love and care, not their out of order cruelty.


This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!


Brave Writer Lifestyle

Friday Freewrite: Joint Effort

Friday Freewrite

Describe a time you accomplished a difficult task with the help of a partner.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.


Training Tip: Out of the Ordinary

Training Tip: Skip into Science

Blend writing instruction and scientific curiosity!

Are homemade volcanoes, paper airplanes, and animal behavior your kind of thing? Want to become a better writer while finding out how the flu spreads or what it takes to make a high-speed train go faster?

Brave Writer’s Skip into Science class is popular with kids who are less about writing and more about

  • exploring,
  • analyzing,
  • and experimenting.

Writing gets tossed into the bargain. 

Training Tip

Our Skip into Science class… 

  • introduces students to formatted writing. Students pick from a variety of interesting project types.
  • allows your kids to choose topics of interest. This choice fuels a sense of ownership over their work.
  • keeps writing assignments short and manageable. We make sure we’re catching your child’s best moments—no burnout, breakdowns, or boredom!
  • offers plenty of support! Our writing coaches are masters of affirming, helpful feedback that your children want to receive.
  • cultivates writer’s voice. Students reveal their quirky interesting personalities in their writing for powerful connection to the reader.
  • ignites their love for learning. Academia is based on inquiry and curiosity—and it’s FUN!
Skip into Science

Inspired to Write

Brave Writer Student Spotlight

Through the unique use of writing mechanics, informative illustrations, vivid storytelling, and a good dose of humor, Jemma (age 9) brings her characters to life in an epic adventure to save the kingdom from a HUGE, hungry dragon.


[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]


Jemma’s inspiration?

The book, How to Train Your Dragon, and Brave Writer’s accompanying Arrow mechanics and literature guide! 

How to Save Your Kingdom

by Jemma

Click the image below to see a larger version.

Student Spotlight: Jemma

The How to Train Your Dragon Arrow highlights “Punctuation and Writing Mechanics as Style” and provides insights into the power these elements lend to writing.

All Arrows foster inquiry and curiosity about how writers use punctuation, grammar, and spelling, as a means to engage readers—not to simply have “correct” writing. 

Arrows provide easy-to-understand notes to help parents and their children explore writing mechanics and writers’ craft through the published works of established authors. Over time, children apply these writing tools to original writing, as Jemma has shown in her engaging story. 

Thank you for sharing your epic story with us, Jemma! We wish you many days of brave writing ahead!



Tea with Julie

Tea with Julie

Julie here. I miss you. I miss connecting with you via email.

With a brand as rocking as Brave Writer with endless tools, classes, and resources to promote, it feels a little nervy to tell you about another email you could receive from me.

Yet what I want to do is write to you, not just market our amazing offerings.

I thought it over with my team and realized that I wanted to share with you my favorite stuff—the writings I’ve done over the years that have made the biggest impact on our community. These writings will come once per week as essays to your inbox to make it easy to digest them.

Sound good?

And so: we’re launching a brand new email list (it requires your consent, so be sure to sign up if it appeals to you).

I’m calling it “Tea with Julie.” 

Each email will come on Saturday morning and will be a letter to you about a variety of topics (usually in a series of 4-5 emails over 4-5 weeks). These emails are free (no fee to join).

Topics include:

  • Writing, in general
  • Revision, more specifically
  • Self care
  • Parenting
  • Being an awesome adult
  • Forces of enchantment
  • Brave Writer Lifestyle

…and so on.

My goal is to give you the benefit of the thousands of pages of material I’ve written over the last twenty years in an essay length format, personalized for 2020. You are free to read them, save them, share them, file them, or discard them.

The “Tea with Julie” emails are not primarily marketing driven (we may occasionally let you know about something important on the calendar, but you can expect them to be mostly marketing-free). 

To sign up, you must “opt in” using this landing page.

Sign Up for Tea with Julie

You can opt out at any time by using the unsubscribe button at the bottom of any email. Feel free to manage your email preferences with us using that button at any time.

Brave Writer is 20 years old, and I’ve got lots to share with you. I’m excited to talk to you personally via email this year.

Emails will be sent every Saturday.

Can’t wait to curl up with my favorite tea (PG Tips) and a pair of shortbread cookies while writing to you. I recommend similar for reading the emails.