17 Sep For all the parents … how to raise emotionally intelligent kids
As most parents know, you’re only ever as happy as your unhappiest child!
But as most parents also know, we can’t expect our kids to be happy ALL the time.
Happiness is wonderful; but just as, if not more important, is the ability to understand and manage ALL emotions.
This is what we call “emotional intelligence” and the good news is it can be taught and learned…
via the Ladders by Eric Barker
Dealing with kids ain’t easy. They need an exhausting amount of attention and help.
Behavioral psychologists have observed that preschoolers typically demand that their caretakers deal with some kind of need or desire at an average rate of three times a minute.
Most advice on parenting focuses on how to deal with misbehavior. While helpful, this is also akin to only offering advice on how to survive after a nuclear holocaust and not talking about how to prevent one. What’s the secret to making sure your living room doesn’t resemble a scene from “Mad Max: Fury Road”?
What usually underlies bad behavior is how the child handles negative emotions. And this is something we rarely teach deliberately and almost never teach well. Showing kids how to recognize and deal with feelings prevents misbehavior — and it’s a skill that will serve them their entire lives. It prevents tantrums at age 4 but it’s also the difference between saving college money and saving bail money later on. Look at it as potty training for feelings.
But how do we do that?
Professor John Gottman is the guy who revolutionized the study of relationships, getting it to the point where he could listen to a couple for just a few minutes and determine with a frightening amount of accuracy whether or not they’d divorce. Well, luckily, Gottman also analyzed parenting. And this wasn’t the latest parenting theory-of-the-week that somebody came up with over lunch — this was a truly epic study of mind-bending proportions.
He took over 100 married couples with kids ages 4 or 5 and gave them questionnaires. Then conducted thousands of hours of interviews. He observed their behavior in his lab. Taped sessions of the kids playing with their best friends. Monitored heart rates, respiration, blood flow and sweating. Took urine samples — yeah, urine samples — from the kids to measure stress-related hormones. And then followed up with the children and families all the way through adolescence, conducting more interviews, evaluating academic performance and …
Okay, enough. You get it. The plans of Hollywood Bond Villains aren’t this thorough. And when it came to dealing with emotions, Gottman realized there are 4 types of parents. And three ain’t so hot:
- Dismissing parents: They disregard, ignore, or trivialize negative emotions.
- Disapproving parents. They’re critical of negative feelings and punish kids for emotional expression.
- Laissez-Faire parents: They accept their children’s emotions and empathize with them, but don’t offer guidance or set limits on behavior.
Children of these parents didn’t do as well over time. They misbehaved more, had trouble making friends or had self-esteem problems. One of them may be breaking into your car right now.
And then there were the Ultra-Parents. These mothers and fathers unknowingly used what Gottman calls “emotion-coaching.” And this produced emotionally intelligent kids. These parents accepted their children’s feelings (but not all of the children’s behavior), guided the kids through emotional moments, and helped them problem-solve their way to a solution that didn’t involve putting the neighbor’s kid in the emergency room. How did these tykes end up?
The children were better at soothing themselves when they were upset. They could calm down their hearts faster. Because of the superior performance in that part of their physiology that is involved in calming themselves, they had fewer infectious illnesses. They were better at focusing attention. They related better to other people, even in the tough social situations they encountered in middle childhood like getting teased, where being overly emotional is a liability, not an asset. They were better at understanding people. They had better friendships with other children. They were also better at situations in school that required academic performance. In short, they had developed a kind of “IQ” that is about people and the world of feelings, or emotional intelligence.
And it all came down to how the parents handled the child’s negative emotional outbursts. These parents did five things that the other types rarely did.
Alrighty, let’s get to it …
…keep reading the full & original article HERE