ASK Dr. Donna-Changing the Legacy of Avoiding Emotions: Freeing Children to Feel

May 27, 2022

Dear Dr. Donna,

Growing up, I was taught not to talk about my emotions. How do I ensure that my children do not repeat the same pattern nor do the same with their emotions?

We all have the emotional fingerprints, both positive and negative, of the adults and experiences they were surrounded by in their earliest years, influencing and impacting learned behaviors of how to express, or not express, our own emotions. Our experiences, memories, internalized rules, views, and values shape how we respond, act, and react — this applies to both adults and children. What we’ve observed and learned through our own histories impacts how we then deal with our own emotions and the emotional responses of others. 

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