How to Improve the Emotional Climate at Home
Maintaining a good emotional climate at home isn’t an easy thing to do. This is especially hard when strong personalities live together under one roof in complicated circumstances. However, making an effort is always worthwhile.
It’s pretty common for psychologists to see families to help them deal with their problems. Although all families love each other, it’s also true that the more time they spend together, the more likely it’ll be for problems and tension to arise.
That being said, a home’s emotional climate is a shared responsibility. Therefore, each family member can contribute to a home’s harmony or conflict.
However, the people with the most power and who must make the most effort are the parents. They’re ultimately the ones responsible for what happens at home. As children grow up, they should acquire more responsibility. A home’s emotional climate is something that all family members can contribute to according to their age and abilities.
According to research published in Psychology Science of Therapy, it’s essential to participate in activities that promote family cohesion. This is necessary in order to achieve healthy emotional and cognitive development in children. Having a good relationship with siblings and parents strengthens the emotional ties and improves each family member’s self-esteem.
Families aren’t what they used to be
A parent’s job goes beyond simply meeting basic needs like putting food on the table. We can’t underestimate the power and value that parents have. Raising children also includes aspects as important as educating them. It’s best to do this in an environment filled with affection, support, and respect. This will facilitate the development of good relationships, establishing norms and discipline, teaching healthy habits and lifestyle choices, and transmitting values while also teaching children how to make important decisions.
As if all of this weren’t enough, families today have to do all of this in a more diversified family context. In addition to the traditional family whose nucleus consists of two spouses, other types of families are becoming more frequent. For example, there are much more single-parent families or families with step-parents or step-siblings.
In addition, the role parents have has changed so much in recent decades. Most mothers don’t dedicate themselves to staying at home all day in order to raise their children. They often have to combine that responsibility with work outside the home.
Therefore, fathers nowadays have to assume active roles in educating and caring for their children. This goes beyond just providing economic resources. All these changes, along with other factors, have given way to new family models and challenges. This directly affects a home’s emotional climate.
How do we improve our home’s emotional climate?
The answer to this question isn’t simple. You may be asking yourself why. Well, in the first place, the question is very broad. To be able to improve our home’s emotional climate, we should evaluate the problems that the family is experiencing.
Once we know the problems the family’s dealing with and each member’s personalities, we have to establish guidelines to improve the family’s climate. There are some general guidelines that may be applicable to most cases.
Promote good practices among family members
This is essential to improve the emotional climate at home. Families with good emotional climates treat each other with respect and education. Respect and education involve a series of behaviors. As an example, we can say that it’s beneficial to refrain from using aggressive or hurtful language. We have to banish insults and abusive words from the family. We shouldn’t reinforce these practices among the children.
It’s also important to be respectful. Family members should greet each other when they arrive and say goodbye when they leave. We also should show affection if we want to improve the emotional climate of our home.
Each family member has a specific role
This means that parents must act as parents and children as children. Although this may seem logical, there are many parents who forget their role. A parent is a guide and their fundamental mission is to educate their children. Their basic goal is to contribute to their children’s well-being and growth.
To achieve this, there are parents who act more authoritatively than others. Children with really authoritarian parents tend to feel restricted. On the other hand, parents who are unable to maintain clear and defined boundaries tend to end up raising very disoriented and impulsive children. In this sense, it’s best to be democratic, set clear boundaries, and be firm but always willing to listen.
Children, on the other hand, must learn to respect their parents. They should take on more responsibilities as they grow up and give themselves permission to make mistakes. A child who doesn’t follow their parents’ instructions won’t be “guided”. They’ll grow up with a sense of insecurity due to the lack of points of reference. At the other extreme, a child who’s too dependent won’t voluntarily assume the risks that are necessary for growth.
Participating in family activities
Families should have fun. It’s important for family members to do rewarding activities together. Children should have friends, just like parents do. But they should also do fun things together with their family. Family leisure time should involve traveling to other cities, eating out, watching movies together, playing sports, etc. It’s important that family leisure time be of quality and that all members enjoy it.
There are many others factors that can help us improve our home’s emotional climate. However, mentioning them all would take too much time and exceed this article’s parameters. If the emotional climate in your home is unbearable, the best thing you can do is go see a psychologist with your family. They’ll help you and your family cope with difficult times.