Children always watch you closely, even after they reach adulthood. When you are in the grip of a strong core emotion, they may wonder what the emotion(s) means in your life, how you deal with the emotions, and if they are safe with you. Here are four tips:
1. Accurately identify the emotion that has arisen in your brain and body and be honest about it, first to yourself and then to your children. Remember that frustration and irritation are likely part of the emotion of anger.
2. Verbalize the emotion using age-appropriate feeling words (I’m glad, mad, scared, so-sad, etc.)
3. Be congruent at all times. Make sure your words, voice tones, and body language all match so there is no confusion created in the observers’ mind
4. Take appropriate and needed actions (which may mean doing
nothing at the moment—just gaining information that can help you make a good choice in the future)