emotional needs and family relationships

“Our research into the emotional needs of children makes it clear that kids are happiest and most successful when they are listened to, understood, and taken seriously by their parents. But what effects do such habits have on the parents themselves and on their marriages?

“What we found is, Emotion Coaching not only protects these couples’ children, it protects their marriages as well. Compared to the other parents in our study, Emotion Coaches were more satisfied and stable in their marriages. They showed more affection, fondness, and admiration for each other. When these couples talked about their philosophies of marriage, they were more likely to emphasize the value of companionship. They talked a more in terms of ‘we-ness’, viewing their lives together as a joint undertaking. They were more validating, less belligerent, and less contemptuous toward each other. The husbands were less apt to stonewall, or shut down during heated exchanges. They were more likely to express the belief that couples need to discuss their negative feelings, get problems out in the open, and deal with conflict rather then avoid it”

John Gottman p146-147

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