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Emotional Coaching With Your Child

Esteemed researcher Dr. Gottman began researching with children, exploring and identifying how to raise an emotionally intelligent child. There is research on parenting where it restricts to only managing of a child’s misbehavior. As parents we want the best for our children, this can put a lot of pressure to do our best with kids. There are many ways to foster resilience with your children, the Triple P program has practical ways to help parents. I am trained in facilitating seminars, groups and individual support if you need help.

Dr. Gottman identified four “types” of parenting in his research that reflect stereotypes we often learn ourselves, or from our peers, as children:

The Dismissing Parent disengages, ridicules or curbs all negative emotions, feels uncertainty and fears feeling out of control, uses distraction techniques, feels that emotions are toxic or unhealthy, uses the passage of time as a cure-all replacement for problem solving. How this effects children is they learn that there is something wrong with them, cannot regulate their emotions, feel that what they are feeling is not appropriate, not right, and abnormal.

The Disapproving Parent is similar to the dismissing parent but more negative, judgmental and critical, controlling, manipulative, authoritative, overly concerned with discipline and strangely unconcerned with the meaning of a child’s emotional expression. How this effects children is similar to the dismissing parenting techniques.

The Laissez-Faire Parent (is endlessly permissive, offers little to no guidance about problem solving or understanding emotions, does not set any limits on behavior, encourages “riding out” of emotions until they are out of the way and out of sight). Effects: Kids can’t concentrate, can’t get along with other others or form friendships, can’t regulate their emotions in a healthy way.

If you identify with any of the above and need help changing your relationship with your children. Contact me for a session at Redlands Counselling Service Capalaba.

The fourth style of parenting is identified as the The Emotion Coach. When you look back on memories of your own childhood, you may recognise that some of the strategies below were used by your parents when you felt the closest to them – when you felt that they could really relate to you, when you were truly understood.

The five essential steps of Emotion Coaching:

1. Be aware of your child’s emotion

2. Recognize your child’s expression of emotion as a perfect moment for intimacy and teaching

3. Listen with empathy and validate your child’s feelings

4. Help your child learn to label their emotions with words

5. Set limits when you are helping your child to solve problems or deal with upsetting situations appropriately

What are the effects of Emotion Coaching: Your child understanding and regulating their emotions will help them to succeed in life in many different ways – they will be more self-confident, perform better in social and academic situations, and even become physically healthier.

Spend time and invest in your children, so notice when your child expresses negative emotions about something or misbehaves. Instead look for the underlying cause of their feelings which lead them to misbehave. Then use Emotion Coaching to work with your child and work with these exercises and discover the benefits of these strategies.

Give your child respect and understanding in moments when they feel misunderstood, upset, or frustrated. Talk with your child when their having strong feelings and try to understand the causality.

Notice your child’s responses to when working with them. When it gets difficult, make your child feel heard through empathy. Patiently and calmly validate their feelings and get to the root of their issue. The greatest gift you can give your child is show them that you respect their attempts to solve problems, and guide them with trust and affection.

Parenting can be challenging, especially when we are the guides, mentors and teachers for our children. If you want your children to grow up to be calm, patient, loving, understanding, flexible, fair and emphatic, then they need to be shown that.

If you would like some support, then book in for session with Redlands Counselling Service.

1300 241 667 or email

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