056: Beyond “You’re OK!”: Modeling Emotion Regulation

I hear a huge crash.

It’s my favorite glass vase.  I hear “I didn’t mean to hurt it, Mommy!  It just fell!” as I run full-pelt from the other end of the house.

It was a family heirloom passed down by my grandmother.  I’ve asked her not to touch it a hundred times.  I am beyond furious.  “Please don’t be mad, Mommy.  It was an accident.”

I clench my teeth.  “I’m not mad.”



What does my daughter learn from this exchange?  How does my own emotional regulation affect what she learns about how to regulate her own emotions?  We’ll learn about this in today’s episode.

Note that this episode is the second in the ill-fated experimental short episodes – we’ll be back to the regular length hereafter!  In case you missed it, the first episode in this series was Three Reasons Not To Say You’re OK.



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  1. Ashlee on March 2, 2018 at 6:11 PM

    Listening to your example of a healthy expression of emotions with your daughter (after the breaking the base) brought me to tears. I was not parented in a gentle way and I have committed myself to breaking the cycle of emotional abuse with my 17 month old. I’ve been using mindfulness meditation and therapy since pregnancy to work process my childhood and develop the skills I need to ensure a healthy relationship with my girl. I’ve read a lot so far, including transcripts of exchanges like the one you present. But hearing it out loud was very powerful. I felt sorrow for myself as a child for not being spoken to this way. And I felt excitement and joy and hope for my daughter as I have vowed to teach and model emotional regulation. Thank you for this experience. I love your podcast. It is exactly what I need. I went on and reviewed you on iTunes after I dried my tears and finished hugging my daughter.
    With love and gratitude,
    Ashlee Barwell

    • Jen Lumanlan on March 3, 2018 at 5:18 AM

      Ashlee, thank you so much for sharing your story. I wasn’t parented like this either. I’m working on an episode on intergenerational parenting issues and will reach out to see if you have any questions I can try to answer.

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