What Powerful Capacity is Our Culture Stealing from Our Children?

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We owe our children their birthright. Namely, their natural capacity to form authentic, emotionally vibrant relationships.

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Our daughters face similar restrictions of their relational capacities.

We limit daughters to what might be called the greeting card school of emotional expression. We allow the expression of sympathy or celebration but more complex, volatile or dark emotions are forbidden. There are no greeting cards for rage or despair, feelings far too many of our daughters are trained to hide away and suppress.

When we suppress our children’s emotional expression, we limit their capacity to form relationships, because it is in relationships that emotions get co-created.

In order to avoid displaying unwelcome forms of expression, many children (and adults) engage in more perfunctory superficial relationships, or simply withdraw from relating altogether. This withdrawal represents a pivotal moment in our development, because how we relate creates who we are becoming.

Relational intelligence is the understanding of how we co-create healthy relationships.

The good news is our children are ready to engage in this lifelong process. We’re talking about growing the interpersonal super powers that every human being is born with. We are all born with these powerful capacities. We simply need relationships in which we are encouraged to grow them. What’s more, our children don’t need this encouragement to be happening everywhere, they simply need to be getting this encouragement in some central part of their lives. And what is even more promising? When we help our children grow their relational intelligence, we grow our own as well.

Some of the content in this article is from our new book! Want to raise children who can create and sustain lasting, joyful relationships? Get The Relational Book for Parenting, by Mark Greene and Dr. Saliha Bava.

The Relational Book for Parenting uses comics, fables, articles, and games to help families’ grow their relationship superpowers in the daily back and forth of parenting. It’s a joyful, accessible, parent-friendly cure for what ails our isolating culture, helping us to raise a generation of young people better able to connect, collaborate and innovate across differences. The book is available here: http://a.co/ej1kAgi

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Pages from The Relational Book for Parenting
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Read more by Mark Greene:
Why Do We Murder the Beautiful Friendships of Boys?

Explore more of Mark Greene’s work at RemakingManhood.com or join the conversations at our Remaking Manhood page on Facebook.

Get a powerful collection of Mark Greene’s articles, including this one, in his book REMAKING MANHOOD–Available now at Amazon.

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Written by

Author THE LITTLE #METOO BOOK FOR MEN https://www.amazon.com/dp/0983466963 Writer/speaker on inclusion, masculinity. BBC, New York Times- http://remakingmanhood

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