Hi Healthy Mums,
Anne here. I enjoyed a lovely hour with Healthy Mums online forum and we had some great questions about parenting, emotions and children’s behavioural issues. I love to share the issues with parenting to help them with strategies to address the potential underlying causes. I learn lots for myself too!
Children are just like us. They want to feel loved and nurtured. They learn from very early on in life how to get their needs met. They will attempt to get our attention by continued behaviour until their needs are met. This may be asking directly for attention, repeating behaviour or making lots of noise to get the adult attention desired to meet their physical and emotion needs. Each individual child will have their own unique variations and way that works for them. Did you know that according to John Gottman’s research a toddler requires adult attention 3 times per minute!!!
“Emotion tuning” is a vital skill of the emotion-coaching parenting model. It is connecting with your child when they are experiencing lower level/intensity emotion. This involves noticing the body language and signs of your child when they are a little disappointed, annoyed or lonely. It then requires a choice to connect with them to help them explore what they might want to do around the feeling. This helps to prevent habits that develop to escalate their behaviour to get the required attention. The primary focus of the emotion-coaching model is that all feelings are ok but not all behaviours. Empowering your children with the skills to handle their emotions are invaluable. Emotional intelligence has been found to be a better indicator of long-term success than IQ!
When you are learning to tune in, you can start with asking yourself; “what body language does my child have?; What might they be feeling in this situation?; What might I feel in this situation?". See if you can observe your child when they are at rest and see if you can see any signs of low intensity emotion.
Thank you Anne for sharing your knowledge with us and for writing this article. If you want to find out more, there is an opportunity for you. All of the above plus lots more gets explored in detail in the 'Tuning into KidsTM Parenting Program'. If you are interested in participating, click here and sign up for the last program of 2013 starting October 16th.
Your healthy friend,