Emotionally healthy children do better in school, find more success as adults, and lead happier lives. They can be happy and fulfilled as they grow up.
Follow these strategies to increase your children's emotional wellbeing:
1. Be open about your feelings. The world isn't always positive, and you may have struggles. It helps your children understand your feelings if they see the reality of the world.
* Kids copy their parents, so they'll mimic your emotions.
* As an emotionally healthy adult, you'll show your kids that it's normal to have both positive and negative feelings. If you're open about them, they'll be able to learn from you.
* You may be tempted to protect your children from your real emotions. However, you won't help them this way, and you'll miss a teaching opportunity.
2. Avoid judging feelings. Adults sometimes criticize others and their feelings. Your kids are always watching, so they learn to judge others too.
* When you judge and criticize the emotions of others, you show your kids that it's normal to make fun of or mock other people. They can suffer emotional damage because they learn to criticize others or become scared to show their own feelings.
* It's also important to avoid labeling feelings as good or bad. Sometimes you may be happy, and sometimes you may be sad, but both are normal. Kids shouldn't feel ashamed of their feelings.
3. Avoid telling your kids how to feel. When you try to control a child's emotions, it leads both of you down a dangerous path.
* You can't control every aspect of your child's life. If you try to tell children how to feel, they become scared to show their true emotions. They learn that they can't be honest about their feelings, so they stifle or hide them.
* When you tell your kids they have to be happy, you prevent them from figuring out why they don't feel this way.
* Parents often feel that their kids are an extension of their personalities and expect them to act and feel the same way. However, each child is a unique individual. You can't expect them to feel the same way as you.
4. Resolve your emotional wounds. You'll find it difficult to teach your kids how to deal with their feelings when you're struggling with your own. Kids naturally copy their parents, so they may pick up on your traumas.
* Take care to prevent the emotional wounds from your past or present from carrying over to your children.
5. Ask questions. Kids benefit from opportunities to discuss their emotions. Ask questions and find out how they feel, rather than assuming what they're feeling.
* When you ask about their feelings, your kids will learn to articulate them. They'll learn to express their thoughts and emotions.
Emotionally healthy children grow up to be successful and happy adults. They'll also be able to use these skills when they get older and face challenges. The ability to be emotionally available and knowledgeable is a powerful tool. Your kids will enjoy great advantages from learning about their feelings.