Are You Parenting with Emotions?
The school year started and inevitably, your family is stressed out again. Kids being back in school means you are juggling work with school schedules, dealing with teachers, homework, and rebellion from the kids following summer vacation.
Parenting with emotion has been researched as a crucial strategy for promoting healthy social and emotional development in your kids.
- Are you struggling to connect with your child – do you feel distant from him or her or like they don’t often share with you?
- Do you parent from an authoritarian perspective – did you grow up with a “spare the rod, spoil the child” mentality? Because of this do you struggle to make time to connect to what your child is feeling and focus only on punishment
- Do you often get angry and explode – has your fuse with your kids become so short that it scares you?
If you answered Yes to the above questions then you are not parenting with emotions. However, don’t start beating yourself up right away. This is something that can be improved. Here are three tips to start infusing your parenting with emotions coaching:
1) Increase your own emotional awareness – by knowing your own emotions and how to best manage them (i.e. your child makes you angry but you take a deep breath and come back to the conversation later rather than berate him or her), your kids watch you and learn by example.
2)Name your kids’ emotions as they experience them – try saying things like “I can see you’re upset you don’t have me all to yourself” versus ignoring their experience. This teaches them to soothe themselves as they get older and how to be empathetic toward others.
3)Simply be present. Your kids need to feel you listening and acknowledging them even when you have troubling emotions of your own. Resist the urge to interject, instead be curious about what they’re feeling. This works wonders in helping them feel safe expressing themselves later in life.