When you ask a pregnant woman if she’s having a boy or girl, she’ll often reply with “I don’t know, but I just want a
Diversifying is important
Diversifying your assets is a great way to protect yourself against risk. The belief is that it’s better to acquire various assets in addition to cash (such as shares and property) instead of focusing just on being cash rich. This is the same when it comes to emotions.
Of course we want our children to be happy. But what other emotional assets will stand them in good stead? If we view creativity as an emotional asset, we need to provide our children with environments conducive to that. If we view the ability to trust as an asset, we need to model trust by delivering on our promises. If we view pride in oneself as an asset, we need to name and praise our children’s achievements; large and small. If we want them to be independent thinkers, we can’t tell them to shut up every time they ask the question ‘why?’… You get the picture.
Diversifying is also about teaching our children how to manage more than one emotion at the same time, like how to balance the motivation to succeed with the fear of failure. It’s about understanding that conflicting emotions can be felt at the same time and that one can add value to the other.
Helping our children diversify their emotional assets will help them navigate life’s low points because they will know that in times of difficulty, they have other assets to draw upon.
Regular deposits are essential
You can deposit a lump sum of money into your account, but unless you’re earning a lot of interest on it, you’re not making your money work for you. One way to build wealth is by regularly depositing money into your account. Same goes for emotions.
In order for a child to build emotional wealth, they have to continually ‘top-up’ their emotions. If you want your child to be rich in empathy
Bear in mind also that some emotions, like empathy, require more deposits than
Budgeting is key
Children learn to budget money from a young age. They need to learn to budget their emotions too.
This is about getting the child to think about what emotions they want to allocate most of their time and energy to and why. This process
It’s also about teaching the child to budget for negative emotions, not just positive ones. For instance, they need to know that the experience of grief is inevitable and that grief can trump the ability to be emotionally ‘strong’ and that that’s okay.
Debt is real
When your account balance drops to $0, not only do you have nothing left to spend, you also need to come up with a way to earn more money.
Emotional debt can arise when we no longer have the ability to feel a certain emotion, like when you have a prolonged argument with someone and you become so drained that you just can’t be angry anymore. Emotional debt can also result from a traumatic event, like when your trust is violated and you feel like it cannot be restored.
Emotional debt can be hard to get out
The global financial crisis (GFC) is memorable
Those who lost a lot in the GFC vividly remember where they were and what they were doing when they found out the value of their assets had plummeted. The crisis caused fear, uncertainty, stress, anger
The crucial point here is that negative emotions are more memorable than positive ones. There’s no doubt we can quickly recall the times we have felt embarrassed or ashamed, while some of happiest memories are foggy.
Feeling negative emotions is important, and in some cases, they’re vital for survival (e.g. fear as a fight or flight response). But we need to remember that negative emotions are not counteracted by just one positive one. When your child is experiencing an emotional crisis, they need to experience a number of positive emotions before they feel at ease again. Think of a child who’s scared of the dark – they need to be reassured a thousand times that they’re safe, not just told once.
Just like we do with our bank accounts, we need to check in on our children’s emotional wellbeing regularly. We need to seek advice if we need to. And we constantly need to evaluate how we can achieve better outcomes.
Devoting time and energy to the emotional wellbeing of our children is one of the best investments we can make – we will prosper and so will they.
Have a great week!