An excellent post by Elizabeth O’Shea with 14 clear, powerful ideas about being an emotionally intelligent parent. Here are the first 3 – how would it be to put these into action?

1. Accept our children’s emotions and emotional responses

‘That must have been really frustrating’ ‘Wow, you are showing me how angry you feel’ ‘That’s great, I can tell how excited you are’ ‘it can be tough when friends let you down like that.’ ‘You look pretty upset. Something must have happened,’

2. Help them label their emotions.

‘You sound upset’, ‘you look really down’, ‘I’m guessing you’re feeling really sad about that’ ‘You’re looking a bit worried’.  I imagine you must be feeling….’ ‘That must have hurt’

3. Encourage children to talk about their feelings

‘Hey, you sound really fed up about that. Do you want to talk about it?  ‘How did that make you feel?’

I like how she’s recommending a matter-of-fact approach to emotions.  They’re real, they matter… and you have a choice about how you use them. As you can imagine just from the first 3, actually FOLLOWING these 14 tips takes a lot of emotional intelligence for ourselves as parents… but I’m equally sure that doing so would help kids raise theirs.  The central challenge for me is stepping back and remember that my job as a parent is to create a context for learning together — when I remember that (not often enough!) I’m able to step back from the fireworks and enjoy the show  😎 — and treat emotions as something to talk about and learn from. Anyway, I recommend checking this out, and then please come back here and share your comments — which tip is most powerful?

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Joshua Freedman

Joshua is one of the world’s preeminent experts on developing emotional intelligence to create positive change. With warmth and authenticity, he translates leading-edge science into practical, applicable terms that improve the quality of relationships to unlock enduring success. Joshua leads the world’s largest network of emotional intelligence practitioners and researchers.
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