Podcast Episode 134: The New Science of Emotion & What it Means for Kids

Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 134 of The New Family Podcast where we talk to a psychologist about the emotions of kids.

What if everything we’ve assumed about our relationship to emotions and where they come from was wrong? We’re joined by psychologist and neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett for this episode, author of a new book called How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain. Dr. Barrett is a distinguished professor of psychology at Northeastern University with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She’s here to talk to us about what her research means for parents and for raising emotionally intelligent children.

Here are some resources related to my discussion with Dr. Barrett.

Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett’s website

How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain

Related Episode: How Not To Lose It When Your Kids Push Your Buttons
Related Episode: A New Way of Thinking About Intelligence

Dr. Barrett’s Parenting Advice
“The best piece of parenting advice that I ever received, well there are two actually, one was “Don’t raise your voice”. If you want to get your kids attention – widen your eyes, drop your voice, to use your face specially your eyes to make it really clear that you are really serious about something. That makes it much harder for your kid to dismiss what you are saying as you being out of control. I thought that was a brilliant suggestion, it worked really well in my house I would say. Even now, when my daughter is 18 – if I widen my eyes, it strikes a chill in her. She knows she has to take it seriously. And the other thing that somebody once said to me which I thought was really useful is “Be compassionate to yourself as a parent”. Whatever you do in the day that you’re unhappy with, you know how it is, you can reflect on all the things you should have done differently, said differently – tomorrow is another day.”

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Brandie Weikle

About Brandie Weikle

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here. View all posts by