How to Talk about Feelings: 10-conversation-starters
Weâ€™ve all been affected by the loving, and the wounding aspects of the relationships in our lives. Brain expert Deborah McNelis from Brain InsightsÂ reminds us that, â€œHumans are biologically designed for relationships.â€ That statement reminds me that feelings are a part of our everyday life, and part of every relationship we have.
Every human being has wounds from childhood. An article in Psychology Today written by Andrea Brandt Ph.D. M.F.T. says, â€œChildren make meaning out of the events they witness and the things that happen to them, and they create an internal map of how the world is. This meaning-making helps them cope. But if the children donâ€™t create a new internal map as they grow up, their old ways of interpreting the world can damage their ability to function as adults.â€Â
Childhood Wounds Are Like a To-Do ListÂ
They are the things we have to work through, learn from, and grow from in this life. There is no perfection in family life. No parent is perfect. And no child has perfect behavior, which means no child escapes childhood without a wound or two.Â
Sounds depressing, doesnâ€™t it? Even though those things are a fact of life, there are things parents can do to reduce the intensity, and amount of wounding that occurs in childhood.
Most of us did not grow up in a family where feelings were easily discussed. As a result, you may think, â€œWe never talked about feelings when I grew up, and I turned out okay, so why do I have to talk to my kids about feelings?â€Â
Or you may feel uncomfortable, overwhelmed, or just not know how to bring up the subject of feelings with your child. No matter how you feel, avoiding feelings just isnâ€™t an option in todayâ€™s parenting.Â
Today kids are exposed to TV families that talk about feelings, classroom discussions that focus on feelings, games that incorporate feelings into the play. If you arenâ€™t talking about feelings with your child, your child may unconsciously create behavior in order to motivate you to help them deal with, and understand their feelings.Â
Is Talking About Feelings a Challenge?
Here are a few conversation starters to use with your child.Â
Notice that all the questions are scaled to an age appropriate level. I am not asking grammatically correct, logical, theoretical questions; I am asking relatable, practical, feeling-based questions.Â
What Should You Do After Asking Questions?
Once the questions have been asked and feelings acknowledged, then what? How are you supposed to enforce rules and boundaries as mindfully and effectively as possible when you’re upset about what your child has done, said or acted? Take a look at our updated website and all the new seminars and eBooks we have to support you at Proactive Parenting dot net. Please excuse the slightly slow load, it’s the last thing we have to figure out, and we aren’t sure how! Fun times!Â
Remember, what you do now, really does inform, and impact your childâ€™s behavior tomorrow.Â