Keys to managing emotions in the family
Emotions have an adaptive function and, in themselves, they are neither good nor bad. Sometimes feeling angry helps us to set limits on situations that we dislike. Fear, for its part, predisposes us to action, escaping danger. That is why it is important to learn about the management of emotions as a family, since this area is ideal to start with practice.
The management of emotions, that is, identification, expression and regulation, is a process that can bring multiple benefits. Among them, be masters of our emotional reactions and make decisions without the impulses pass over us.
This process, which requires teaching, learning and practice, finds in the family the optimal place to take its first steps. It is a scaffold that allows trial and error.
The importance of managing emotions as a family
The importance of managing emotions in the family has to do with 2 issues that are related to each other:
- First, the family is the first social system in which people develop, grow and bond. It is important that it be a space in which all its members feel comfortable.
- Second, all the skills that are acquired in this area are those that will be put into play later, so it is crucial that its members learn to manage their emotions.
Managing emotions as a family will help to make better decisions in the future, to control impulses, to consider the consequences of actions and to take into account the interlocutors.
The emotional dimension is essential in the integral development of the personality, but it is also the basis for self-knowledge and self-care. Likewise, it is important to bear in mind that in childhood, through emotional management, certain brain connections will be developing and strengthening.
Keys to managing emotions as a family
We now bring you some keys to manage emotions as a family. Take them as guides for the development of an intra-family process that will never end, perhaps, and that it will require effort on the part of all members.
1. Identify emotions
It is very important to recognize what emotions we are experiencing, what is our reaction and what originated it. As adults, we must also help them put a name to what happens.
In this way, we can put into play different resources to face what happens. We must not lose sight of what the manifestation is like in the body.
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2. Express and regulate emotions
It is important that the family allow spaces to express how we feel and create a safe place to share experiences. In fact, we must consider emotions as allies, since they serve as a thermometer of what is happening.
The expression must take into account the regulation of emotions. This starts from considering not only ourselves, but also other people. Empathy is a crucial component and needs to be developed.
For a child to learn to regulate himself, first you need an adult to accompany you. Surely, in the early years of childhood it will be the displays of bodily affection that work best, while as one grows, the word will gain prominence.
3. Maintain positive communication
Managing emotions in the family goes hand in hand with communication. In this sense, it is important to establish some agreements, such as that no one will stop loving themselves because they are angry with the other person or that disrespect will not be admitted despite feeling anger.
This allows to validate the emotions, but also to establish a framework of coexistence. Crossing the boundaries is not allowed.
Spaces for assertive, clear and direct communication should be fostered. It is recommended avoid broken phone conversations or the "He told me, I told you".
Discover: Help your children control their emotions from a young age
4. Understand that each member is unique
Finally, you also need to understand that each member of the family will have a particular style to identify their emotions. Thus, the strategies to be implemented must be respectful of individuality and not be one-size-fits-all.
It must be borne in mind that emotional education is an educational, continuous and permanent process. Therefore, if we learn to know each other and these strategies are built as a family, we are more likely to be successful.
Tools for managing emotions in the family
Some tools to put the above keys into practice they can be the ones we present below. Discover them and learn how to use them.
Search for solutions
Faced with an idea or situation that displeases or bothers, it is important that family members can commit to its resolution. A good question is always collective and invites everyone to take part in the action.
What can we do so that this does not happen again? What agreement can we reach so that things start to change? Here it is interesting to hear the opinions of each one.
They can even be written down while we chat so we don't forget them. Once we have several ideas, the next thing to do is to choose one or two and get a compromise from the whole.
Games, movies and use of metaphors
All are tools that work to work on some issues that are more difficult to address or when we do not know how to do it. The games allow to put the body to the emotion, to represent a role and also to place oneself in the place of the other.
For their part, films make it easy to identify with or reject a character, so it also allows us to express a point of view. What's more, play reinforces other values, such as teamwork for a common goal.
Activities to get to know each other
In order to know how the other feels, it is necessary to know their tastes and interests, their fears, the things that make them good. In this way, we will also be able to identify what is happening to it, facilitate its expression and help regulate itself if necessary.
Scheduling family activities, both recreational and study, is useful to get closer and create a climate of trust. Here it is important to keep in mind the quality of the time we provide, which is much more important than the quantity.
Create a safe or calm zone
This is a good strategy to use when children need to calm down. There would be some toys, cushions, and decorations in this safe area. The idea is that they can acquire self-regulation skills.
It is even recommended that adults also have a safe zone when they are about to lose their cool.
As simple as that: it is a basic and easy strategy to implement when we are stressed or faced with an overflow situation. In these stressful moments we tend to breathe shorter and do not oxygenate ourselves well, so the limbic system responds.
So to get your axis back, it is best to start by taking a deep breath., fill the lungs with air, inflate the belly and then release the air calmly.
Family emotion management is not a fad
Many people believe that managing emotions is a fad. Nothing further from reality. The truth is that, for a long time, the emotional has been neglected, since more value was given to the rational.
However, it should never have lost importance. Neither overvaluation of thought nor underestimation of emotions: both aspects, acting together, are a first class team.
As a premise when educating, we must think that working at full brain it is what truly allows us to develop our potential.
When the family is in situations that continuously affect their well-being, it is necessary to attend family therapy. Read more "