Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child - The Heart of Parenting by John Gottman

I am a parent and I highly recommend this book. I think this world will need a lot less counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists if more parents understand the importance of teaching their child emotional intelligence. Nothing else is more important than this single life skill.

Have you ever felt so embarrassed by your child's behaviour in front of strangers, your friends or your relatives that you take all actions to make your child do as you say? Or have you found yourself so tired and impatient to even bother to listen first before you issue an order to your child?

Well, raising an emotionally intelligent child means we take the time and effort to deal with our child's negative emotions by first acknowledging and listening to those emotions. It does not mean that we give in to the child's requests but it means that we identify with their feelings first and then offer the child ways of dispersing those emotions.

However, that also often also requires that we ourselves have gained a certain level of emotional intelligence. That's the hardest bit. If we ourselves do not know what to do with our emotions or deal with it in an appropriate way, then it will be difficult for us to coach our child emotional intelligence. We need to start looking at re-parenting ourselves and change.