You Have a Family Emergency Plan. What About a Family Emotional Emergency Plan?
Create conditional rulesLove is unconditional in a family. Sometimes to show unconditional love, there needs to be conditional rules. Conditional statements are if...then statements. For example, if Trevor gets angry, then he will tell the family he needs five minutes to take deep breaths in his room . Or, if Mom gets upset, she will let us know she needs a moment to herself and needs us to be quiet . Everyone regulates and processes their emotions differently. Conditional rules help the family to understand which family member needs what kind of action in an emotional crisis. With understanding and awareness, everyone can respect one another's processes without personalizing or internalizing them, feeling abandoned or neglected.
Set language boundariesSome words are more triggering than others. Siblings can be prone to using the specific language they know to be the most upsetting to their brother or sister. Conflict management and conflict resolution are necessary in a family, which means that arguments and disagreements will happen. When they do, the family has to set language boundaries for what kinds of words can and cannot be used. Arguments do not have to escalate into melodrama. The family can agree on what kinds of language are upsetting to others and set boundaries during conversations. If one child does not like being called names, that becomes a boundary. If another child is sensitive to criticism, that becomes a boundary as well. Family emotional plans create smooth navigation systems when the water becomes rough. Adolescence and teenagehood do not have to be a time of chaos in the home.
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