raising an emotionally intelligent child

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

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Julia Park, LMFT, discusses raising emotionally intelligent children by utilizing a five-step model of emotion coaching.

Course Description

In this online training for foster parents emotion coaching to raise emotionally intelligent children is discussed by Julia Park, LMFT.  Four types of parenting styles are reviewed to address the interactions between how a parent addresses their child’s actions and the impact it has on their child’s emotions and behavior.  Children who are able to identify and manage their emotions in a safe environment are shown to perform better academically, be more emotionally stable, experience fewer behavioral problems, establish healthier relationships, have fewer physical illnesses, and more.  In addition, the five-steps, barriers, and goals of emotion coaching are reviewed.

Detailed Summary

This video lesson, presented by Julia Park, LMFT and Mat Park, Psy.D., of Huntsville Psychotherapy & Counseling Services, discusses emotion coaching and raising emotionally intelligent children.  More specifically, they review four types of parenting styles, Dr. John Gottman’s research and five-step model on emotion coaching, barriers to emotion coaching, when not to use emotion coaching, limit setting, and a five-step problem solving model.

In the beginning of the lesson, a hand-brain model is demonstrated as a useful technique parents can use with their children to discuss the different parts of the brain and their functions.  For example, when there is a closed hand, this is described as “closing the lid” of the brain. The lid represents the prefrontal cortex and is responsible for rational decision making and problem solving.  The model helps parents teach their children how to identify and manage their emotions by utilizing the phrase “if you know how to name it, you know how to tame it.”

The first of four parenting styles discussed is the dismissing style.  In this style, the parent does not acknowledge or validate their child’s emotions, leaving the child to feel ignored and unimportant.  Next, the disapproving style, which is described as the most toxic, includes the parent criticizing the child and makes the child feel shame.  This criticism can result in defensiveness, contempt and stone-walling by the other person. The laissez-fair style is another style a parent may use where they do not set boundaries or consequences with their child.  The child will ultimately feel indulged but overwhelmed. The last parenting style is emotion coaching. This is where the parent validates the behavior of the child, explains why the behavior is a problem, and collaborates with the child on different ways to manage their emotions.

Dr. Gottman’s book “Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child” is discussed and highlights the positive outcomes of children who are able to identify and manage their emotions in a safe and trusting environment.  As a result, these children tend to perform better academically, focus attention, motivate themselves, are resilient and emotionally stable, experience fewer behavioral problems, can establish healthy relationships with others, and have fewer physical illnesses.

The five steps of emotion coaching include being aware of the child’s emotions, recognizing emotions as an opportunity for connection, helping the child verbally label emotions, communicating empathy and understanding, and setting limits and problem solving together.  One of the barriers that may arise during emotion coaching is the parent fixates on their own agenda and does not acknowledge their child has an agenda as well. Another barrier is a parent’s ability to understand their child’s temperament, and how each child is different.  This can negatively impact how a parent interacts with their child. The last barrier discussed is when someone is feeling overwhelmed emotionally and physiologically, known as flooding. This is when someone may take a break from an argument and comes back to discuss it later.

In addition to the steps of emotion coaching, examples are presented of when not to use emotion coaching.  These include when the parent is in a hurry, safety is a concern, the parent and child are in public, the parent is experiencing flooding, serious behaviors need to be addressed, or the child’s emotion does not match the situation. These are times when emotion coaching would be ineffective.

At the end of the lesson, a five-step problem solving model is explained. This model includes the parent setting limits, identifying goals or motivation by asking what the child wants to accomplish or what they need, brainstorming solutions with the child, evaluating solutions with the child and allowing the child to choose a solution.

For a full transcript of the video’s this course is based on, click here.

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