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12/11/2015
This article from Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center is rather old, but probably worth reminding us parents on some well researched parenting skills that would give our kids a higher chance of being happy and resilient to adversity as a kid, as a teen and finally as an adult. 

Based on research of over 30 years, the author claims that it is not sufficient to just be a caring and involved parent. We need to emotion coach our children along the way. Emotion coaching is a simple method that has three distinct steps to follow, when we see instances of negative or undesirable emotions in our child. 
  1. Empathize with your child and label the feelings. Verbally labeling feelings serve four distinct purposes – it helps us understand what the child is feeling, it helps the child understand and label what he or she is feeling, it communicates to the child that the parent understands what he or she is feeling and finally it subtly messages the child that feelings this way is OK. Doing this will start the bandaging process. 
  2. Correct unacceptable behavior, if any occurred. While it is OK to have undesirable emotions, it is important for the child to realize that acting negatively is not acceptable and comes with consequences. The parent must clearly highlight the unacceptable action to the child and have the kid bear responsibility of such action.
  3. Solve the problem. In this final step, the parent acts as a coach rather than solve the problem for the child. Through talking, help the child come in touch with the cause of the negative emotion and then develop a solution that will likely prevent this negative behavior in the future. It is very tempting to offer solutions and suggestions, but typically what works is what the child comes up on his or her own. 

For full article, click here.

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