Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles – Chapter 1

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Pg 12: “Emotion coaching doesn’t imply that you always say yes… it doesn’t mean you constantly negotiate… It doesn’t mean that you give him free reign on his emotions. You don’t. Emotions are never an excuse for hurtful or disrespectful behavior. It means that you will listen, trying your best to understand your child’s point of view, label his emotions for him, enforce clear standards for behavior, and teach him what he can do to express them respectfully. As a result, your child will learn that he can trust you and be open to your guidance, leading ultimately to his own sense of self-control.”

This is a book that made such a difference to me in my daughter’s younger years and I hope it does for you as well. As I began re-reading Chapter 1, I realized that it still applies to her even though she is now 12-years old. The first chapter was a great reminder and for those reading the book for the first time, I hope it wet your appetite as to why you should be reading this book to help in reducing those power struggles. Notice I wrote “reducing.” I like how the chapter indicates that most of the time it will be smooth sailing when following the strategies/information provided in this book but sometimes you are still going to experience an occasional power struggle. It is human nature… our children and parents can’t be perfect all of the time.

Chapter 1 really covers why emotion coaching is so important and gives you a brief glimpse into what it is and the research behind it. The chapter explains how the book is divided up: building connections so that your child works with you because they want to; knowing yourself and your child by understanding temperament triggers, stress, and medical factors — all impacts behavior; and lastly emotional development. As you can tell, lots of good information… I’m especially looking forward to re-reading the temperament triggers.

Two passages to leave you with:

Pg 13: By changing your reaction you can change your child’s. Even in the darkest moments when you feel totally inept and out of control, you have the power to stop and change your behavior. It is possible to learn how to keep your cool even when your child is losing his.

Pg 14: You can learn about yourself as well as your child. The exciting thing about emotional intelligence is that it’s predominantly learned behavior. The lessons don’t stop in early childhood. They continue throughout our entire lives, and we get to reap the benefits in all of our relationships — at home and at work.

Author: Stephanie Petters

Stephanie Petters is an API Leader and the Coordinator of the API Reads program through Attachment Parenting International. She and her husband and their daughter live near Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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