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Parenting for Success

Emotionally Intelligent Parenting

Parenting strategies based on the emotional intelligence model can dramatically alter the home atmosphere, bringing new-found levels of closeness, bonding, and cohesiveness to all family members. Emotionally intelligent parenting emphasizes identifying, acknowledging, and then responding appropriately and constructively to one’s own emotions and to the emotions of one’s children. Parents seek to understand the perspective of their children. This type of parenting helps children identify and understand how they are feeling, and then to use this knowledge in deciding how to respond. It involves recognizing that children’s behaviors are often a response to what they are thinking and feeling about any given situation. Parents who are more emotionally competent themselves, are in an excellent position to promote emotional competencies in their children, thus providing them opportunities for greater success.

Dr. Hambley offers presentations, workshops, and individualized training in emotionally intelligent parenting, with an emphasis on improving the emotional intelligence of parents and teaching them how to promote emotional intelligence in their children.

How can you promote emotional competencies in your children? (A few suggestions)

  1. Work on improving your emotional intelligence.
  2. Model appropriate behavior.
  3. Use “feeling” words often, so it becomes an accepted topic to discuss.
  4. Use numerous opportunities to explore your child’s emotional responses to situations and experiences.
  5. Use opportunities to encourage your child to think about how others feel (e.g., friends, relatives, characters in stories, etc.).
  6. When possible, offer your insights into how others might be feeling.
  7. When attempting to influence behavior, focus on teaching rather than controlling and/or punishing.
  8. Give more attention to positive behavior rather than negative.
  9. Make your praise behavior-specific.
  10. Acknowledge, paraphrase, and validate.
  11. Make use of Socratic questioning (open-ended, avoid the “whys”, use two questions rather than one).
  12. Teach conflict resolution. Then encourage your child to use this skill.
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Catherine Hambley, Ph.D.
LeapFrog Consulting