Gabbing is good for kids. Researchers at the Emory University Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life studied the conversations of Atlanta-area families and came across some noteworthy findings. Parents who encourage their children to talk about feelings, like anger and sadness, were more likely to raise resilient kids.
The researchers took special note of family conversations concerning negative events such as a death. In these instances, kids struggled to understand what happened. When parents didn't shut them down, children felt accepted and acknowledged. More than that, these children also had better self-esteem and were more socially adept.
In discussing a negative event, people often recall things differently and they disagree on how the event unfolded. Yet it's a good thing that they have their different perspectives, because it gives children the chance to learn how to listen and be heard. In fact, when parents let each family member air his or her point of view, kids learn how to negotiate differences of opinion.
The bottom line is: Children who talk about their feelings are much better off. Here are a few tips to keep the lines of communication open: