How can Parents Open up Conversations About Emotions?

Next Step Psychotherapy and Wellbeing

How to open up conversations about emotions with your family?

Lindsay and Tracie know that talking about how you’re feeling can be hard, especially with those closest to you. However, its so important that we talk about our emotions together, and so they have shared some top tips for opening up conversations about mental health for parents:

Have a space at home to hold these conversations.
Lindsay and Tracie would recommend dinner time, as this offers an opportunity, away from TV and phone screens, to sit with your family and talk.

Talk through your day.
Its important for parents to share their own experience and talk through their own emotions, as this helps children feel comfortable to share their own feelings when they’re ready. Sharing your day is a good starting point, as you can talk about if anything was particularly good or bad, then ask your child the same thing, and often you will both share the same emotions. For example, if your boss at work has made you feel angry, talk to them about how you dealt with this emotion and how you managed to not let it overcome you.

Name emotions.
Naming individual emotions, rather than using the phrase “You’re in a mood” helps children to grow emotional intelligence and identify their feelings. As there are nearly 30 different emotions, this helps children realise that its okay to not be happy 100% of the time, as whilst society often expects us to be, in reality no one ever feels just one emotion all of the time.