EMOTION COACHING

 

Without good information and the right skills, parenting can feel overwhelming. Parents often wonder: “What is one thing I could do for my child that would make a difference both now and in the future?”  The answer, found after more than twenty years of research, is to build your child’s emotional intelligence.  This means helping kids understand their emotions by recognizing what they are feeling and why.  To do this, parents need to teach their children to address feelings in constructive ways so they can eventually regulate their own behavior.  As children mature, the ability to manage emotions helps them navigate social relationships, maximize intellectual success, and develop confidence.  That’s the key: to provide a child with skills that set him up for positive social and emotional development – in childhood and beyond. 

POSITIVE SELF-TALK FOR PERSONAL GROWTH ~ by Barton Goldsmith Ph. D.

Positive Self-Talk is a great tool for personal growth as well as for overcoming mood disorders. It can take the form of affirmations, internal dialogue, or prayer. You can choose the method that works best for you.  The real trick is to learn to do it on a daily basis.

 

The use of affirmations became very popular in the 1980s with the help of You Can Heal Your Life, by author and publisher Louise L. Hay (whom I had the pleasure of meeting some years ago). Affirmations are short statements about how you want to improve or are improving yourself.

 

Another method of Positive Self-Talk is to have a conversation with yourself about your behavior......   You can remind yourself that you are now in control of your life. 

 

Many people use the power of prayer to help them overcome their difficulties......

THE SIX CORE STRENGTHS FOR HEALTHY BRAIN DEVELOPMENT  - Developed by Dr. Bruce Perry; Senior Fellow, The Child Trauma Academy

 

Each of the following six core strengths developed by Dr. Bruce Perry, Senior Fellow, The Child Trauma Academy, www.childtrauma.org, is a building block in a child’s development. Together, they provide a strong foundation for his or her future health, happiness, and productivity.

ATTACHMENT – Be a friend. The most important gift you can give a child is the gift of attachment, the ability to form and maintain healthy emotional bonds with another person.

 

SELF-REGULATION – Think before you act. Self-regulation is the ability to notice and control primary urges such as hunger and sleep, as well as feelings of frustration, anger and fear.

 

AFFILIATION – Join In. Affiliation is the capacity to join others and contribute to a group. This strength springs from a child’s capacity to form attachments.

 

ATTUNEMENT – Think of others. Attunement is being able to recognize the needs, interests, strengths and values of others. The ability to read and respond to the needs of others is an essential element of human communication.

 

TOLERANCE – Accept differences. Tolerance is the capacity to understand and accept how others are different from you. When a child learns to accept differences in others, he is able to value what makes each of us special and unique.

 

RESPECT – Respect yourself and others. Respect is appreciating the value in yourself and others. Respect, as the sixth core strength, springs from the foundation of the other five strengths.

Staying positive helps
HOW STAYING POSITIVE HELPS  - Reviewed by Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD

a University of California, Riverside professor and author of The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want (Penguin Press).

Consider what researchers found about the benefits of staying positive:

  • People who were pessimistic had a nearly 20 percent higher risk of dying over a 30-year period than those who were optimistic

  • People who kept track of their gratitude once a week were more upbeat and had fewer physical complaints than others

  • People who obsessively repeated negative thoughts and behaviors were able to change their unhealthy patterns—and their brain activity actually changed too.

HOW SPIRITUALITY HELPS - Reviewed by Jeff Levin, PhD ;

adjunct professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center and author of God, Faith, and Health:  Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection.

Sprirituality helps

Spirituality can provide a:

  • reassuring belief in a greater force or being

  • sense of purpose and meaning

  • focus on your own or universal wisdom

  • way to understand suffering

  • connection with others

  • reminder of the good in the world

 

 

Consider some of the science on religion and spirituality:

  • People who meditate have increased activity in a "feel-good" area of the brain

  • People with strong religious beliefs recovered faster from heart surgery than people with weaker faith

  • People who didn't attend religious services died significantly younger than those who attended more than once a week

Self Care
Self-Care - Easier said than done by By Monica Kriese;

Moderator and Parent Facilitator for The FRIENDS Parent Program

… for a number of years when my son was first diagnosed with his mental health challenges and it felt like his challenges with anxiety were running our home, I was like the proverbial gerbil on a treadmill and self-care was a rather foreign concept to me.  I put my needs and my emotional and mental health on the back burner, without understanding how this was affecting my son.

 

…You (and your family members) should never undervalue the benefits of taking care of yourselves. Taking good care of yourself gives you more physical and emotional energy to deal with the challenges you face, and that will benefit your child.

 Erik Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development

The theory of psychosocial development created by Erik Erickson is perhaps one of the best known personality theories. The theory differs from many others in that it addresses development across the entire lifespan, from birth through death.

 

At each stage, the individual deals with a conflict that serves as a turning point in development. When the conflict is resolved successfully, the person is able to develop the psychosocial quality associated with that particular stage of development.

Erik Erikson's Stages of Psychological Develoment
Great idea to help promoting your child's social-emotional Development
Great idea to help promoting your child's social-emotional Development

According to John Gottman, emotion-coaching is the key to raising happy, resilient, and well-adjusted kids. His research—30 years of it—shows that it is not enough to be a warm, engaged, and loving parent. We also need to emotion coach our kids.

 

This first step to coping with negative emotions (in yourself, your children, or in your mother-in-law) is to figure out what they are feeling and to accept those feelings. Even if we don't accept the bad behavior that often accompanies negative emotions, we still want to send the message that all feelings are okay, even the worst ones. Terrible feelings like jealousy and fear and greed are invitations to grow, to understand ourselves better and to become a better person. When you see these "undesirable" emotions in children, think of them as opportunities to both learn more about their inner-world and—importantly—to teach them how to deal with negative emotions now and in the future.

How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children ~ by Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Codependency causes much unhappiness. Research shows that codependency is learned in families and passed on generationally. It prevents the development of healthy, independently functioning individuals.

 

When parents are codependent, codependency gets transmitted unless they’re self-aware and consciously make an effort to respond to their children in healthy ways that counteract their codependent patterning. But because codependency is learned, it can be prevented and unlearned.

 

The problem is that, like addiction, codependency is characterized by denial. You may not even be aware that you’re codependent and are unwittingly teaching it to your children, despite your best intentions. The most preventative steps you can take are to work on improving your self-esteem and communication.

 

Some of the main symptoms of codependency are:

  • Being overly focused on someone or something

  • Low self-esteem

  • Non-assertive communication

  • Denying or devaluing needs, feelings, and wants

  • Poor boundaries

  • A need for control

 

Children learn who they are and how to identify, value, and communicate needs and feelings through interactions with their parents. Thus, how you communicate with your children is critical to the formation of their identity and to a large extent determines how secure their sense of self and self-esteem are.

Self Esteem ~ Reviewed by D'Arcy Lyness, PhD

Codependency causes much unhappiness. Research shows that codependency is learned in families and passed on generationally. It prevents the development of healthy, independently functioning individuals.

 

When parents are codependent, codependency gets transmitted unless they’re self-aware and consciously make an effort to respond to their children in healthy ways that counteract their codependent patterning. But because codependency is learned, it can be prevented and unlearned.

 

The problem is that, like addiction, codependency is characterized by denial. You may not even be aware that you’re codependent and are unwittingly teaching it to your children, despite your best intentions. The most preventative steps you can take are to work on improving your self-esteem and communication.

 

Some of the main symptoms of codependency are:

  • Being overly focused on someone or something

  • Low self-esteem

  • Non-assertive communication

  • Denying or devaluing needs, feelings, and wants

  • Poor boundaries

  • A need for control

 

Children learn who they are and how to identify, value, and communicate needs and feelings through interactions with their parents. Thus, how you communicate with your children is critical to the formation of their identity and to a large extent determines how secure their sense of self and self-esteem are.

How Can I Improve My Self Esteem? ~ Reviewed by D'Arcy Lyness, PhD

Self-esteem is made up of the thoughts, feelings, and opinions we have about ourselves. That means self-esteem isn't fixed. It can change, depending on the way we think. Over time, habits of negative thinking about ourselves can lower self-esteem.

 

Sometimes, people don't even realize that they're thinking so negatively about themselves. But once you're aware of it, and know that the way you think is up to you, you can begin to change the way you think. And changing the way you think about yourself changes the way you feel about yourself.

In Brief:  The Science of Early Childhood Development

The science of child development shows that the foundation for sound mental health is built early in life, as early experiences—which include children’s relationships with parents, caregivers, relatives, teachers, and peers—shape the architecture of the developing brain.

 

Disruptions in this developmental process can impair a child’s capacities for learning and relating to others, with lifelong implications. For society, many costly problems, ranging from the failure to complete high school to incarceration to homelessness, could be dramatically reduced if attention were paid to improving children’s environments of relationships and experiences early in life

The Johari Window

One of the greatest gifts you could give yourself is to seek, find, and apply truth in your life. This is the path to becoming a healthy person. Aligning yourself with the truth permits a better person to eventually emerge from within. If you happen to agree then you will love the Johari Window.

Social Connection Makes a Better Brain

Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, by Matthew Lieberman, is a book about relationships and why relationships are a central—though increasingly absent—part of a flourishing life.

Social connections are as important to our survival and flourishing as the need for food, safety, and shelter. But over the last fifty years, while society has been growing more and more prosperous and individualistic, our social connections have been dissolving. We volunteer less. We entertain guests at our homes less. We are getting married less. We are having fewer children. And we have fewer and fewer close friends with whom we’d share the intimate details of our lives. We are increasingly denying our social nature, and paying a price for it. Over the same period of time that social isolation has increased, our levels of happiness have gone down, while rates of suicide and depression have multiplied.

The Social Brain and its superpowers: Matthew Lieberman, Ph.D. at TEDxStLouis

Brain Differences  Between Genders ~ by Gregory L. Jantz Ph. D.
Do you ever wonder why men and women think so differently?

It’s no secret that boys and girls are different—very different. The differences between genders, however, extend beyond what the eye can see. Research reveals major distinguishers between male and female brains.

 

Scientists generally study four primary areas of difference in male and female brains: processing, chemistry, structure, and activity. The differences between male and female brains in these areas show up all over the world, but scientists also have discovered exceptions to every so-called gender rule.

 

Understanding gender differences from a neurological perspective not only opens the door to greater appreciation of the different genders, it also calls into question how we parent, educate, and support our children from a young age. 

Self Awareness

Self awareness is about learning to better understand why you feel what you feel and why you behave in a particular way. Once you begin to understand this concept you then have the opportunity and freedom to change things about yourself enabling you to create a life that you want. It’s almost impossible to change and become self-accepting if you are unsure as to who you are. Having clarity about who you are and what you want can be empowering, giving you the confidence to make changes.

5 Ways to Help Your Grade-Schooler Gain Self-Awareness
  • Children who are self-aware understand their abilities, interests and needs.

  • Self-awareness is a skill that can be learned over time.

  • It’s good for kids in grade school to start understanding their strengths and weaknesses.

Reframe your thinking to promote quality of life, health and happiness

Reframing involves seeing each event in our lives in a positive light—always looking for the good in people, situations and events—it's an attitude thing. By maintaining a positive attitude or perspective we inoculate ourselves from negative emotions and bounce back from hardship and disappointment easier. Most importantly, we develop resilience to emotional setback.

Anxiety in Men: Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and Mistakes

Men are absolutely prone to anxiety, and in some cases men may struggle with anxiety every day. Anxiety can affect anyone, and when it does it can be nearly impossible to fully control.

 

Anxiety is always a serious problem. But anxiety in men may be especially problematic because men are less likely to seek help, and far less likely to understand how important it is to combat their anxiety issues.

10 Ways to Stop Anxiety Quickly

Living with anxiety is never easy. Millions upon millions of people struggle with anxiety daily, looking for ways to find any type of relief. Anxiety control is a long term process - not something that can be completed overnight. But there are ways to fight your anxiety that can be integrated into your life.

Learn about Codependency

Codependence is the pain in adulthood that comes from being wounded in childhood, which leads to a high probability of relationship problems and/or addictive disorders in later life.

 

Children of addiction, neglect, abuse or any type of childhood trauma, acquire social and emotional habits and patterns that no longer work in adulthood. Survival behaviors such as compulsive caretaking, martyring, scapegoating, controlling, people-pleasing, and approval-seeking are classic examples.

 

Such individuals are not at fault! They need gentle and respectful guidance to break the painful patterns of behavior called codependency.

 

Codependency in Children by Raychelle Cassada Lohmann MS, LPC
Do you ever wonder why men and women think so differently?

Codependency is the desire to control people, including significant others, colleagues, and even children. It can have detrimental effects on healthy child development.

 

Codependency is a learned behavior that can be passed from one generation to another. It is known as "relationship addiction" because it is an emotional and behavioral state that affects a person’s ability to sustain a healthy, meaningful and fulfilling relationship. Codependent relationships are often emotionally destructive and abusive.

 

In the past, codependency was associated with people who enabled alcohol abusers and drug addicts. Now, the term has become broader and is associated with emotional dependency because parents play such an important role in shaping the identity of their children; it is not uncommon to see this issue at a young age. Codependency as an adult may very well in fact have its origins in childhood.

 

Children develop their sense of identity, identify their values, and learn how to communicate and express their needs and feelings based on parental interaction. Parents play a large role in shaping who and what their child becomes in life. In today's world, it's easy to become so busy with everyday routines, that true family time falls to the side.

 

Sadly, codependency is oftentimes a learned behavior that can carry forward into adulthood. In adulthood, codependency can mask itself through anxiety, stress, and depression. It can even wreak havoc on relationships. Codependency can become a vicious cycle continuing from one generation to another. Fortunately, with the right tools, the cycle can be broken and the healing process can begin.

How an Attitude of Acceptance Can Transform your Experience - by Steve Taylor
Do you ever wonder why men and women think so differently?

There are many experiences and activities in our lives which aren’t innately negative, and which could easily be neutralized – or even made pleasant – by the alchemical power of acceptance.

 

Think of household chores, for example. Are they innately boring activities, or is your antipathy towards them due to a ‘resistant’ mental attitude? Think about how you feel when you’re stuck in a long queue of cars at the traffic lights. What is the source of your frustration? You’re just sitting in the front seat of your car; you could be listening to some pleasant music or staring curiously at the other people in their cars, or at the streets, buildings or the sky. It’s only your mental resistance to the situation – your impatience and eagerness to reach your destination – which makes it unpleasant. Our lives are full of neutral situations which are made pleasant or unpleasant by our mental attitude and our thoughts.

 

This has never been put better than in the ‘Serenity Prayer’, created by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, and later adopted by Alcoholics’ Anonymous: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.’

How to Stop Suffering from Painful Emotions - by By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S

There are many experiences and activities in our lives which aren’t innately negative, and which could easily be neutralized – or even made pleasant – by the alchemical power of acceptance.

 

Think of household chores, for example. Are they innately boring activities, or is your antipathy towards them due to a ‘resistant’ mental attitude? Think about how you feel when you’re stuck in a long queue of cars at the traffic lights. What is the source of your frustration? You’re just sitting in the front seat of your car; you could be listening to some pleasant music or staring curiously at the other people in their cars, or at the streets, buildings or the sky. It’s only your mental resistance to the situation – your impatience and eagerness to reach your destination – which makes it unpleasant. Our lives are full of neutral situations which are made pleasant or unpleasant by our mental attitude and our thoughts.

 

This has never been put better than in the ‘Serenity Prayer’, created by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, and later adopted by Alcoholics’ Anonymous: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.’

Articles from
* Children & Grief

When a family member dies, children react differently from adults. Preschool children usually see death as temporary and reversible, a belief reinforced by cartoon characters who die and come to life again.
Children between five and nine begin to think more like adults about death, yet they still believe it will never happen to them or anyone they know.

* The Depressed Child
* The Anxious Child

Not only adults become depressed. Children and teenagers also may have depression, as well. The good news is that depression is a treatable illness.  Depression is defined as an illness when the feelings of depression persist and interfere with a child or adolescent’s ability to function.
Child and adolescent psychiatrists advise parents to be aware of signs of depression in their youngsters.

All children experience anxiety. Anxiety in children is expected and normal at specific times in development. For example, from approximately age 8 months through the preschool years, healthy youngsters may show intense distress (anxiety) at times of separation from their parents or other persons with whom they are close.
Parents should be alert to the signs of severe anxiety so they can intervene early to prevent complications.

Hold on to your kids - Dr. Gordon Neufeld

The Neufeld Institute is now a world-wide charitable organization devoted to applying developmental science to the task of raising children. The Neufeld Institute is committed to putting parents back into the driver’s seat with regards to their own children. Their mission is to use developmental science to rejoin parents and teachers to their own natural intuition. All their endeavours are based on the understanding that the context for raising children is their attachments to those responsible for them.

Learning Language of the Heart - Deborah MacNamara

“Only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”   (The Little Prince)

In a photographer’s studio in the town of Oaxaca, Mexico, the walls are full of pictures of children smiling, laughing, acting shy, angry or crying. When the owner is asked why he captures all of these emotional expressions he replies they are part of life and the parents want to have pictures to reflect this. His statement is captivating especially upon considering the happy snapshots typically adorning such walls. Where do all those unhappy pictures go – the frowns, tears, and children’s backs turned in protest and defiance? The pictures seem to more readily capture a child’s emotional life rendering the happy snapshots one-dimensional, limited, and truncated upon reflection. Do the pictures on these walls translate into a similar invitation for expression in the children’s homes? What do these pictures have to tell us about our relationship to children’s emotions as well as our own adult sized ones?

Key Aspects of Social and Emotional Learning - Mark Greenberg

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. 

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