Never hide negative emotions from your children. According to a recent study evaluating the dynamics between adults and children, perfect emotional transparency on the part of parents is the one that would help children to grow up the most. In fact, children who have more to do with mothers and fathers who show themselves stressed or angry, without hiding anything, develop a truer and closer relationship with them. We talked about it with Dr. Marco Nuara, pediatrician at Humanitas.
Hidden emotions create confusion
Explaining that emotional transparency can always be a good thing in the family was a study by Washington State University and the Universities of California in Berkeley and San Francisco. Published in the scientific journal Emotion, the survey is the result of work carried out on 109 parents and their children. Children between the ages of 7 and 11 are less reactive and less positive about parents who self-censor their negative feelings.
“Children are good at taking subtle cues from their emotions,” explained Sara Waters, a researcher who contributed to the study. “If they feel that something negative has happened and that their parents are acting normally and are not making it visible, this is a source of confusion for them: they are two conflicting messages”.
The importance of showing the conflict
Rather than eliminating emotions in front of children, researchers suggest that the best strategy to implement is to show children a healthy conflict, from beginning to end. Showing that problems exist and can be solved is the best of the options: “Seeing the whole path of anger or frustration and the unravelling of a healthy confrontation between adults helps children to learn to manage their emotions and resolve their conflicts in turn” – explains Dr. Nuara – “The good example is always the most effective tool to educate our children and ensure their proper emotional growth. Children should not repress their anger, it is good that they recognize and express it without feeling guilty, with the awareness that the expression of their frustration and confrontation with others can help to understand the reasons for anger, overcome this feeling and improve the situation.