Thursday, 13 November 2008
My wild night yesterday was actually a lecture on emotion coaching for parents. Every time the professor addressed "parents" I wanted to raise my hand "me, me, me, I have a baby, I'm a parent!". The novelty has not yet worn off.
The lecturer began by delineating what "emotion" refers to. An emotion is basically something we feel as a product of our interpretation of reality. Emotions inform us of the world around us, they help us evaluate and understand it, and they prepare us for acting in the world.
As a parent, it is our role to help children learn how to understand, interpret and cope with their emotions. This is called emotion coaching in John Gottman's Raising and Emotional Intilligent Child. Gottman's book is a pleasurable and informative read. It has anecdotal examples that help clarify his outline for helping children develop their emotional individuality.
The four steps of emotion coaching are:
1. Become aware of the emotion.
2. Recognize the emotion, name it and recognize its intensity.
3. Investigate the origin of the emotion, why it's there, what caused it.
4. Brainstorm possible solutions/plans of action . Select best one.
The lecturer did a lovely job of explaining the parent's role in helping children through these stages. Gottman's book does a remarkable job as well.