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Improve Your Parenting With Emotion Coaching

Your child melts into a fit in the middle of the grocery store because you won’t buy that colorful box of cereal. While you may find the response disproportionate, your child sees it as the end of the world — and you’re both right, in a way.

To help bridge the gap, the team here at Southlake Counseling, under the expert guidance of Kimberly Krueger, MSW, LCSW, offers parent coaching and emotion coaching. This creative approach to parenting allows parents to better handle their child’s emotions and for children to experience healthier emotional growth.

Here’s a brief look at the core tenets of emotion coaching, and how it can help you and your child weather their developmental years with fewer tears and more joy.

A flood of emotion

We’re all born with likes and dislikes that we have little control over, but it’s how we express these feelings through emotions where things can get tricky. 

For toddlers who are just learning the art of communication, expressing (and controlling) their jumble of emotions can be frustrating for them and for you as the parent. You want to understand why they’re upset one moment and giddy the next, but your child doesn’t yet have the communications skills to explain their feelings.

To help your child better regulate and understand their emotions, it’s up to you to help them with the “processing” aspect, which is where emotion coaching comes in.

Five steps to emotional health

At our practice, we offer a wonderful coaching program designed by Dr. John Gottman. It follows a five-step guide that’s designed to help your child recognize, express, and respond to their emotions.

The steps include:

1. Be aware of emotions

Kids look to their parents for guidance, especially when it comes to emotions, so we encourage parents to share their own feelings. If you’re open about your emotions, it takes some of the mystery out of their own and shows them the path forward.

2. Connect with your child

This step is designed to help your child feel like their emotions are being recognized. No matter the emotion, stop and consider it, and encourage your child to discuss their feelings.

3. Listen to your child

When your child discusses their feelings, truly listen and help them feel heard. It’s important not to judge, but just to listen. 

4. Name the emotions

Even before your child talks, we encourage you to put names and descriptions to emotions so they can understand and communicate them better. As an example, you can say that Grandma is always happy to see your child, but sad when they go away again.

5. Find solutions

This final step is designed to help rein in your child’s emotions by creating appropriate boundaries of expression. This step is far more than just setting limits as we also encourage you to help your child find solutions on their own.

It’s important to note that this coaching program isn’t designed to necessarily modify your child’s emotions, but rather find healthier ways that you, as a parent, can encourage their emotional intelligence.

If you’d like to explore how emotion coaching can help improve your family’s dynamics, your parenting skills, and your child’s emotional health, contact one of our three offices in Charlotte, Huntersville or Davidson, North Carolina, to set up a consultation or give us a call right away at 704-896-7776 !

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