Big Feelings: Parenting for Emotional Health

D-E Parents’ Association welcomes Psychologist Lisa Damour

D-E’s Parents’ Association welcomed back Dr. Lisa Damour virtually for a conversation with parents about supporting children through their emotions. Dr. Damour notes that oftentimes “mental health” is misinterpreted as striving to “feel good all the time”. On the contrary, mental health is about navigating the expression and containment of all emotions. If our feelings tell us anything, it is that they are informational. In moments of stress, what parents can do to support their children, whether they are six years old or eighteen, is to approach them with curiosity and empathy first.

It is easy to forget what a huge feat vocalizing our emotions are––to take an abstract feeling and find vocabulary for things that seem intangible. Kids can complain often. At the same time, kids can benefit from being given the space to unpack what’s on their mind. A stressful situation that happened at school may not need an immediate solution. Rather, guiding them through regulating their emotions can reap successful interactions and empower children to have agency in their lives. These were just some of kernels of lessons that Dr. Damour gifted D-E’s parents.

Lisa Damour is the author of two New York Times best selling books, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood and Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls. 

Recognized as a thought leader by the American Psychological Association, Dr. Damour has written numerous academic papers, chapters, and books related to education and child development. She is a Senior Advisor to the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University and is the Executive Director of Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls. She and her husband are the proud parents of two daughters.