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How to Emotion Coach Kids

Patience, n.
A minor form of despair disguised as virtue.
–Ambrose Bierce

Welcome to Theme 4 of the Raising Happiness Homestudy. In this theme you’ll learn how to tackle two common situations in which kids tend to need coaching:

1) When they are feeling (and often acting) badly, and
2) When you need them to do something, like their homework or the dishes.

The video in this post is about becoming an “Emotion Coach.” What do we do when our kids have an emotional outburst?

Parenting Practice: Emotion Coaching

We can practice emotion-coaching with the good, the bad and the ugly emotions in our household. Think of a situation where you can bet there are going to be unpleasant feelings, and practice what you will say.

First: Does your child need to calm down before you address the feelings and behavior at hand? If so, please help them do that before you start emotion coaching them. A little time alone (my kids draw or read in their rooms; other kids might want to take a walk or kick a ball around outside) can do wonders.

When you are ready to start coaching, here are the three steps:

1) Label and validate the feelings at hand. Before you try to do this, make sure that you are empathizing as much as possible with your child.

2) Set limits around bad behavior. Remember, all feelings are always okay, but bad behavior is not excusable.

3) Problem solve. How can your child deal with similar situations again in the future? What have they learned? How can you help in the heat of the moment the next time?

What questions do you have about how to emotion coach? Use the comment box below.


If you would like to download the audio version of this video to listen to in your car or on the go, click the link below.


This video is the 1st in a series about boosting emotional intelligence from The Raising Happiness Homestudy. Check out the rest of the Homestudy here.