(For those of you following along with this book study, we are on Chapters 7 and 8 today).
Chapter 7 opens with this statement, which I love so much:
Everyone is born with a full deck of capabilities – physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional. We need to learn to play them well in order to become healthy, fully functioning adults.
The author goes on to write:
In our society we learn that certain feelings are approriate and fitting for males, others for females. But emotions are neither masculine nor feminine; emotions are human. We need to experience a full range of feeling to be fully human. When this does not happen, we unconciously may pass on our own emotional limitations to our children.
What emotions are you allowed to express in your family? What about in your childhood? All feelings are okay, all actions are not. Was that something you were ever taught? How do you teach this to your children?
This chapter gives strategies for dealing with feelings – accepting and acknowledging, intervening at the level of the thought or the behavior or granting the wish in fantasy. This chapter goes through all the different emotions – trust, guilt and shame, grief, anger, resentment, forgiveness, gratitude, and then coping skills and ways to handle all of these emotions. It is a lovely chapter, probably the one I have loved the most in this book!
Chapter 8 talks about The Power of Words. The way we speak to our children breathes life into them (or despair). This chapter talks about ‘killer statments” (things one should never say); “crooked communication” where things sound positive first but really are quite negative and damaging, and then self-esteem builders.
The author also talks about the use of “thank yous” and how this simple phrase helps to relieve burnout and makes one feel appreciated, especially is one is praised not just for the final outcome, but for the effort.
When we say negative words to our children, we can correct them. We can apologize; we can say that we would like to say that differently or that we would like to take it back. This helps in the phase of switching over to stopping so much criticism of our children and our family members. Increasing appreciation, compliments, and support only helps improve the entire family atmosphere.
Blessings and love,