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Respect and Feelings in the Family
Families: Don't forget feelings!
Feelings are the emotional and physical responses to what we think about and how we react to daily events. Feelings are naturalwe can't stop them from happening. Because we are all different, we respond to feelings in various ways, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. By acting conscioiusly towards our feelings, in both words and actions, we can learn to respect ourselves and others.
There are many myths about feelings. For example:
Instead of denying feelings, it is healthier to give them words. Feelings tell us something about ourself, just like an information chart. Develop a list of "feeling words" and mount them on the wall or the back of the door. Here are some of the most common negative feelings.
To help create an enviroment of mutual respect in your family, become an "emotionally literate" family. One of the most important things you can do to create mutual respect in a family is to never invalidate someone's feelings.
Try to spend time each day, perhaps at the dinner table or in a private conversation, talking about feelings. Teach your children by example, to use the zero to ten scale. For example, "I feel afraid 8 that you will be sleepy tomorrow if you don't go to bed soon." Learn to be a good listener. Learn to validate feelings and to show empathy and understanding:
Here are more suggestions for how to talk about feelings:
These activities can encourage an open communication of feelings and respect with the family.
Adapted from urbanext.illinois.edu/familyworks/respect-01.html
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