It’s that time of the year for ritual house cleaning, rebuilding and repairing–but this year, don’t forget to repair or re-route the emotional cycles set at home.
All families fight and all have misunderstandings at one time or another. Conflict is a part of life and is part of the learning process for kids. The most important part of an argument, according to experts, is what happens after a disagreement.
Think about it. As an adult, how many times have you stayed awake in bed rehashing a quibble with a co-worker? Kids do it too, according to Kenneth Barish, an associate professor of psychology at Cornell. To help them work through the curveballs life throws us, parents should set aside time each day for a state of the union with the kids. For just 10 minutes, go over the day, any worries or disagreements and let them vent—respectfully and without judgment.
By providing the tools to work through anger or anxiety, we equip our kids with life-long problem solving skills and a good blueprint for emotional health. Parents, says Barish, should also be forthright about their own emotions, and learn to apologize to kids if needed. If we work on letting go of anger, our kids can too. Setting time to repair mistakes, either in a house or a family, only makes the home that much stronger.