emotional coaching

Planting the seeds of emotional growth


How to handle emotional problems with your children:

People who are able to handle, express, and process their emotions experience fewer negative feelings, and are more positive overall.

With all the stresses that come with running a family business, it seems like sometimes you have no choice but to have everything together, family, business, outside family. Below we will go over some tips to emotionally coach your children to process their emotions, and become more aware of their feelings and mental state.

Step 1:

The first step is to not jump when they misbehave, but understand that they have feelings which have gone out of control. It’s still important to validate their feelings, whatever it is, even the worst ones, so they can learn how to cope with them. Negative feelings are the challenges for children, learning how to deal with them will help them grow into stronger emotionally stable adults, who can express their emotions.

Below is an example taken from The Greater Good website from UC Berkeley, the author suggests dealing with bad behavior after labeling and validating what the child is feeling. It is so easy for both parent and child to be frustrated with the circumstances at hand and forget about dealing with the emotions behind the behavior.

Me: “Molly, I can see that you are very angry and frustrated. Is there anything else that you are feeling?”

Molly: “I am SO SO SO MAD AT YOU.”

Me: “You are mad at me, VERY mad at me. Are you also feeling disappointed because I won’t let you have a playdate right now?”

Molly: “YES!! I want to have a playdate right NOW.”

Me: “You seem sad.” (Crawling into my lap, Molly whimpers a little and rests her head on my shoulder.)

She has helped her child label her feelings: angry, frustrated, disappointed, and sad.

Step 2:

Whatever the behavior was, should not be ignored, that needs to be dealt with separately.
By setting limits and boundaries, children can build a structure for dealing with their behavior. So, in this case the mother might send her daughter to there bedroom for a 5 minute time out, making it clear that “It is okay to feel angry and frustrated, but it is never okay to throw things or call people mean names. When the timer goes off, please apologize to your sister and come have a snack.”

By associating the 5 minute time out with her bad behavior, the child is able to see that she is being sent to her room, because she acted out against her sister, but it is ok to feel what she felt. So her emotions are constantly being validated.

Step 3:

The last step is to problem solve. To help kids handle similar situations in the future, it’s important to spend time asking them questions, finding out what led them to have the bad behavior. The goal is to put her in touch with her own emotions, whatever they may be, so she can label and validate her emotions in the future.
It’s important to brainstorm ways to prevent the problem in the future, as well as solve the problem if it comes up. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of telling your kids what they should do if the problem comes up, but it’s important to let them tell you. You will be surprised with what they come up with!

In the end, children have the capacity within themselves to solve their problems, validate their feelings, and be healthy, it’s the role of the parent to help them get to that point by gently and lovingly coaching them along the way.

The same can be said for your company, when you have an employee that is not getting their work done, you don’t punish them immediately by firing them or giving them a warning, but you call them into your office and ask them what happened, and depending on the situation give them a warning or fire them.