Dr. John Gottman and his associates have researched the importance of emotional coaching within families. Through this, he has discovered there are parents who dismiss emotions and those who emotion coach
How we view emotions comes from what we believe and our own family experiences. It also depends on how comfortable we are with seeing feelings expressed.
When your child comes running in because she has fallen over and hurt her knee, how do you respond? Gottman calls these moments--Magic Moments--the opportunity to teach.
If you say "Oh sweetie, it's just a little cut, stop the tears, and let's put a smile on your face..." That comes from a place of love! Yet, there is a missed opportunity to coach through what the child is feeling.
Emotion dismissing parents tend to miss the less apparent feelings present. Some think negative emotions need to be avoided and replaced. On occasion, parents might think it's pointless to address emotion. On a personal note, I remember my dad saying, "stop crying, or I'll give you something to cry about." What belief do you think started to form in my mind?
Emotion coaching parents see magic moments and use them as an opportunity to teach and connect. Parents who emotion coach will help children label emotions and find solutions together.
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