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My emotions and how I deal with them

Published 14.08.2023 - Produced by Family Federation of Finland
In this section, you can complete a test to find out about how you experience and express emotions as a parent. How quickly an emotion leads to action is a key aspect of emotional regulation skills.

My emotions and how I deal with them

Every parent’s temperament, genes, and upbringing affect how we regulate our emotions as adults. Some are quicker to anger than others, and the same applies to children. Emotions that occur in parenthood can arise surprisingly quickly, and it’s not always easy to regulate them. Ideas about parenthood also don’t always correspond to reality, which can have a substantial effect on your emotional experience of parenting.

  • Think about your own temperament as a parent: do you get worked up, are you calm, or are you somewhere in between?

How you regulated your emotions during your own childhood also affects emotional regulation. If you were not shown empathy, or were not permitted to feel certain feelings, this can cause challenges in emotional regulation as an adult. It is understandably difficult to express and experience emotions that you previously weren’t allowed to.

  • Think about your upbringing; were you allowed to express your feelings, and did anyone help you with difficult emotions? Were certain emotions, such as anger, disappointment, or sadness discouraged in your childhood home? Were you and all of your feelings accepted?

We may have been led to believe certain ideas about how we deal with our emotions. If you have always been told that you are a hothead, or as cool as a cucumber, you may have learnt to believe this and adopted it as part of your identity. It is important to stop and think about how you believe you deal with your emotions and whether these beliefs hold true. We can check such things throughout life and take responsibility for changing them.

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