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Family Emotional Connectedness

by Dore Frances, M.A., founder of Horizon Family Solutions, LLC
The families of academically successful students view their family as a source of mutual emotional support and connectedness.

Family members value spending time with each other both to celebrate good times and to provide emotional support, approval, and reassurance in bad times, and they engage in emotional, open sharing, clear communication, and collaborative problem-solving. As a result, children in these families are taught how to express themselves emotionally, how to calm themselves emotionally, how to calm themselves when stressed, how to resolve conflicts and engage in collaborative problem-solving, and how to take responsibility for their own behaviors and feelings rather than blame others when experiencing personally demanding situations.

Emotional warmth and belonging

Families of successful students demonstrate high levels of affection, emotional support and warmth for one another.

These families sustain emotional connections with each other through promotion of shared family celebrations, family rituals, spiritual connections, and traditions. Simple family rituals of cooking favorite foods, dancing, grocery shopping, serving and eating meals, singing, storytelling, watching television and joking and laughing sessions as well as family celebrations serve as vehicles for family members to share affection and "good times." These are also excellent situations in which to express to the child that they are appreciated, loved and understood; guide, reassure protect and soothe a child's feelings; verbally validate the child's importance as a person.

In addition family members of academically successful students regularly offer emotional and practical support during crisis periods and provide a reliable network of support.

The emotional climate of a home, particularly adult approval of a child and the child's independent skills, strongly contribute to the development of the child's self-esteem as well as to their achievement motivation.

To facilitate a positive outlook and provide a sense of purpose and value, family and parent coaches can reframe difficult situations as shared challenges that are adaptable, comprehensible, and manageable.

Dore Frances, M.A., is an educational consultant, childs right advocate, parent coach, specializing in working with troubled teens and their families in the United States, Canda, and abroad. See her site at: or contact her by phone at:(541) 312-4422, or email
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Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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