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Expert GuidanceConducting a Family Emotional Vibe Check

Conducting a Family Emotional Vibe Check

Jon and Sam help you assess the emotional culture of your household — and include some conversation starters so your kids can join in the process.

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Hello again, (soft music) and welcome to episode nine in our "Mindful Parenting Journey". In episode two, we took a look at why the emotion culture of your home is so important. And in this episode, we're actually going to help you assess the current emotion culture of your home. So with all that being said, John, how do we start to assess the emotion culture of our home? Earlier in our work together, we discussed how emotion culture speaks to what emotions are welcomed and which are shunned and to appreciate our strengths in emotion culture. We have to hear from each and every voice in the family. Absolutely. One model I like that I walk folks through in the exercise later is thinking about what you need and what happens when you feel distinct emotions. And you can think of it as care instructions. And I like this idea of creating our own care narrative by getting to understand what we need, for example, when we're angry, and what will help us to feel calm again. And so talking about these experiences and needs when everyone's calm, it normalizes that we all get difficult feelings sometimes. As we're talking about getting started with how to do this, it can feel like it's such a big task. But I think if we start talking about distinct emotions, what I often do with kids is I ask them, "What's one emotion that you have a really hard time with?" And kids probably seven and above usually have some emotion that they know is a really tough one for them. And then to start to ask questions about the emotion. So I often use a feeling thermometer with kids where we take the emotion and go step by step on a scale of one to 10, and we identify triggers at each level of that intensity. Like what does a one out of 10 look like for anger? And then how does it feel in your body? What I've seen with children is they feel so relieved to have this written out, and they enjoy it. I think like all of us, at some point in our lives, were walking around with this secret that we think no one else knows, which is this emotion is really hard for me. So to have it laid out on the table and literally drawing about it, talking about it, writing about it, and you're doing that as a family, think of the insight that creates. I really appreciate that approach. And one way that you might consider going about it is checking in on five core emotions that all humans experience. Great psychologist, Paul Ekman, did a lot of research into what emotions are found across cultures, and there were five, anger, disgust, joy, happiness, fear. Just thinking about these five core emotions central to our humanity and how they're approached and handled in our homes is a wonderful place to start because that...


TypeExpert Guidance
Duration7 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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