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Are You An Emotion Coaching Parent?

mother daughter emotion coaching

Emotion Coaching is not just a parenting style. It is also a tool developed by Dr. John Gottman to help and teach our children to handle challenges and also a means of developing a relationship with our children based on trust and mutual respect. Emotion coaching helps parents guide their children through life’s ups and downs in a way that builds confidence, resilience and strong relationships. Developed by Dr. John Gottman, author of Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, this process helps children learn how emotions work and how to behave in healthy ways when their feelings are strong. It also teaches the skills that help children to thrive both socially and academically.

What Is An Emotion Coaching Parent?
Emotion Coaching parents have a strong awareness of their own emotions and the emotions of others. They recognize that all emotions serve a purpose and need to be expressed. They understand and accept that emotions are neither good nor bad, but that they are just normal! Gottman’s research has found that Emotion Coaching parents respond to lower intensity emotions before they escalate, guide their children through their experiences of emotions and help with problem solving.

Why Is It Important To Be Aware Of Your Child's Emotions?
Research shows that children who are raised in an environment in which they are able to express emotion have:

  • Decreased level of stress hormones
  • Lowered resting heart rates
  • Fewer infectious illnesses like colds and flue
  • Increase ability to recover from stress (especially teasing and school behavior
  • (Gottamn et al)

Why Is It Important To Help Children Understand Emotions?
Children are emotional beings and need the opportunityt to explore the full range of human expression.  Being a "good parent" requires the development of more than just knowledge, skill and intellect.  Becoming and Emotion Coach allows a parent to nurture their "whole" child. Children are exposed to a wide range of emotions at a young age in our world today.  By recognizing and responding to your child's emotions, you can increase your connection and understanding of your child while building a stronger family. 

The Result
Children who believe their feelings are important have good problem solving skills, high self-esteem and the ability to connect socially. They have the ability to control and regulate their responses to a variety of experiences and stressors.

How Do You Have An Emotion Coaching Conversation with Your Child?
What Do Emotion Coaching Parents Do?

Dr. Gottman has five steps to emotion coaching, which is simply a framework to problem solve and help children manage big emotions.  The five steps are:

  • Have emotional awareness
  • Recognize the emotion as an opportunity for connection and teaching
  • Listen empathetically & validate your child’s feelings
  • Help your child identify and label their emotions
  • Set limits while helping your child to problem solve

Want to learn how to use emotion coaching with your child?
Feel free to check out my online course Emotion Coaching: An Essential Part of Your Parenting Tool Box where I teach you exactly what is covered in each step and provide you language to have this conversation.  I keep it simple so that you can start applying these tools right away.  You too can be an emotion coach in a short amount of time with some practice. 


Or maybe you just want to have some basics from the article above...