The Reason Parents Should Show Their True Feelings To Their Children
Some parents always try to hide their negative emotions and amplify their positive emotions.
Parents who always try to put on a happy face for the sake of their children may be doing more harm than good, a new study finds.
According to the study, hiding negative emotions and exaggerating positive emotions can actually damage parents’ well-being, the psychologists found.
Parents who tried to be ‘perfect’ for their children reported lower authenticity, worse relationship quality and were less responsive to their children.
Dr. Emily Impett, one of the study’s co-authors, said:
“For the average parent the findings suggest when they attempt to hide their negative emotion expression and overexpress their positive emotions with their children, it actually comes at a cost: doing so may lead parents to feel worse themselves.” By regulating their emotions in these ways because they felt less authentic, or true to themselves.
The conclusions come from two studies — one which followed parents over 10 days and the other an experiment.
Dr. Bonnie Le, the study’s first author, said:
It is important to note that amplifying positive emotions was relatively more costly to engage in, indicating that controlling emotions in ways that may seem beneficial in the context of caring for children can come at a cost.”
Dr. Emily Impett concluded:
“The findings shed light on one condition under which parenting may be associated with more pain than pleasure: when parents express more positive emotions than they genuinely feel and mask the negative emotions that they do feel when caring for their children.