Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We learned about emotion coaching in the parent-child class I took at our community college. I don't think I've read too much about it on the Ovusoft boards directly, though I think the book has been mentioned. It was really interesting to learn about the four different types of parenting defined by Gottman, that we all dip in to each of them at times, and to learn how emotion coaching works. I think just having awareness of the concept can really help with parenting of toddlers and young children.

Dr. Gottman discovered that children who had Emotion-Coaching parents were on an entirely different developmental trajectory than the children of other parents.

What are the five elements of emotion coaching?

* Be aware of a child's emotions
* Recognize emotional expression as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching
* Listen empathetically and validate a child's feelings
* Label emotions in words a child can understand
* Help a child come up with an appropriate way to solve a problem or deal with an upsetting issue or situation

In Dr. Gottman's research he has found that children of emotion-coaching parents had more general abilities in the area of their own emotions than children who were not coached by their parents. In other words, these "coached" children grew up to become what Dan Goleman has referred to as "emotionally intelligent" people. What are characteristics of these children?

Dr. Gottman's research demonstrated that emotion-coached children

* Are able to regulate their emotional states
* Are better at soothing themselves when they are upset
* Could calm down their hearts faster after something upsetting happens
* Have fewer infectious illnesses
* Are better at focusing attention
* Relate better to other people, even in tough situations like getting teased in middle school
* Are better at understanding people
* Have better friendships with other children
* Are better in school situations that require academic performance

from The Gottman Institute - Parenting Research

The Talaris Institute has more information about:

The 5 steps of Emotion Coaching

The four Gottman-defined parenting styles:

The Dismissing Parent
The Disapproving Parent
The Laissez-Faire Parent
The Emotion-Coaching Parent

Has anyone got any opinion or experience with the book, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child?

What have your experiences with Emotion Coaching been?

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