Posted by: Leah | October 16, 2011

Being Emotionally Available

My Mom’s recent visit helped me to realize how much Eastern European parenting differs from the North American. I feel that in my generation our parents were not interested in our emotional well-being. They were concerned about our health, diet, exercise, clothes, whether our friends were good kids but nobody ever inquired how something made me feel, whether I was emotionally ok and happy. Most families were like that. I do not remember having conversations about keeping my life in balance, and in general most communication between generations was rather cold.

That is really disheartening, because I think when children grow up, the major parental concern should be if my children are well emotionally. Of course, health, diet and money are important too, but emotional health is vital. I feel that most of us were underloved.

As I am getting ready to start my happiness project I can see that sometimes I choose the familiar behaviour pattern – if I say go to a doctor who is cold, reserved and cynical, I feel at home. That is not right though and does not do me any good. I do enjoy warm, welcoming people who think about how their words and actions are going to affect me emotionally. So, my goal is to recognize these situations and try to choose warmth over familiar chill and disconnect.

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