Five Habits of Emotionally Healthy Families
In difficult situations, like the current COVID-19 pandemic, it can be hard to manage emotions for both children and adults. By focusing on the emotional health of your family, you can help each individual express themselves in a constructive way and forge a path forward to grow as a family. Incorporate these habits into your daily family life to build a strong emotional foundation.
- Treat each other with respect. While everyone agrees that children should respect their parents, adults should also show that same respect back to their kids. Modeling this behavior at home will set up expectations for how kids treat others—and how they expect others to treat them—in the future.
- Share feelings, both positive and negative. The family home should be a safe space for members to express what they are feeling, from happiness and excitement to anger and sadness. When it comes to the negative feelings, acknowledge them and then work together to find appropriate ways to address any underlying issues.
- Seek out each other’s opinions. For each member of the family to feel valued, they should have the opportunity to express their opinions. This includes expressing their thoughts on mundane things, like what’s for dinner, and on big decisions, like a family vacation. Actively listen to all opinions and consider them (as much as you can) in your choices.
- Celebrate the big accomplishments and small victories. Cheer on your family members as they succeed in their endeavors, whether it be a good grade, learning to ride a bike or a well-earned promotion. By recognizing your family members’ achievements, you can show your support as they build their self-esteem.
- Accept each family member as they are. In a family, you see the best side of each member, as well as the worst side. Everyone has imperfections and makes mistakes. Showing your unconditional love to your family members will fill their emotional buckets and help your family grow in trust.