Emotion Coaching begins by recognizing feelings. Many parents are able to see the positive emotions a child expresses, but drawing close to a child who is angry or sad can take some practice. While it takes effort to teach your child about feelings and appropriate behaviors, it is time well spent. Your relationship with your child will be stronger and your child will be more prepared for the challenges life can bring.
Tune into feelings
- Connect with your child
- Pay close attention to a child’s emotions. Do not dismiss or avoid them.
- Recognize feelings and encourage your child to talk about his or her emotion
- Act early before strong emotions escalate into problem behavior.
Respect your child’s feelings by taking time to listen carefully.
- Take your child’s emotions seriously. Avoid judging or criticizing your child’s emotions.
- Show your child that you want to hear about what he or she is feeling.
- Label the feelings your child is experiencing instead of telling your child how he or she should feel.
- Set a good example by naming your own emotions and talking about them.
- Help your child build a vocabulary for different feelings.
- Children need structure to help guide their behavior.
- The key is to be kind with your words and body language and firm in your action.
Find solutions together
When you are both calm, explore solutions together.
- Later, when you are both calm, reflect on your own and your child’s feelings.
- Brainstorm possible solutions together.
- Always acknowledge your own role in the difficulty, if relevant.