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Strategies to help today's working families in Northeast CT, MA and RI.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotions can be very powerful. They can push people to do and say things that they don’t mean. They can also push people to do and say things that they truly do mean. When we look at the people in our lives I think we can all recognize those that are driven or prone to some kind of outburst. We as adults are supposed to have learned how to control them, to deal with them, and to be able to express them in ways that don’t end up in holes in walls or slamming doors. Some people never have that support however and all too often we see the result.
It is helping our children to understand and work through their own feelings where we can have the most impact. If we acknowledge their feelings and don’t try to stop them simply because it’s not a good time for us, or we are overworked, we allow our children to become what they can be. When we deny their feelings by telling them they are overreacting or that their fears aren’t real, we sabotage the very goal that we are working toward.

According to Bill Corbett in “Love, Limits, & Lessons” we use these methods among others:
Interrupting (never letting them fully express their thoughts)
Solving the problem
Minimizing (“It’s not so bad, when I was a kid we used to walk to school; six miles uphill!”)
Comparing to Others (“Your sister gets an A and you can’t even get a B, in Algebra?”)

So what can we do? The change happens within the family. It takes a concerted effort from everyone but begin by actively observing and encouraging expression of emotion.

“You look upset; would you like to talk about it?” “How will you handle that next time?” “What do you think that happened?”

Children have an Emotional Bank Account that we make daily deposits or withdrawals (Used courtesy of Cooperative Kids). The more deposits we make the greater that child’s sense of self. The more withdrawals we make, the less connected the child will be to their family. When that happens it is harder for that child to either express themselves at all or to begin expressing themselves in ways that will hurt others. This is why creating an environment that supports communication is important.

For additional tips or consultation please contact us.

"Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary." ~Mark Twain