3 ways to use emotion coaching when kid misbehaves

May 17, 2019
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    Emotion coaching is discipline approach that helps kids understand and cope with their emotions in a healthy manner.

    According to researchers John and Julie Gottman, emotion coaching helps raise successful, resilient and well-adjusted kids who eventually learn to regulate their own behaviour.

    Related: 3 ways to use behaviour modification when kid misbehaves

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    Are toddlers too young to understand this? Parenting coach Donus Loh, a consultant psychologist at W3ave, says emotion coaching can work for this age group to a certain extent.

    While they may not have a varied vocabulary at this age, he says they can be taught to recognise basic emotions, particularly happiness, sadness and anger. You can do this by pairing facial expressions with each emotion.

    Related: 3 ways to use positive discipline when kid misbehaves

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  • My two-year-old refuses to share her toy
    3 / 5 My two-year-old refuses to share her toy

    One of the basic steps to emotion coaching is to help your kid identify her feelings. This would involve you – the parent – empathising with your little one although this may not be easy if she’s in the middle of a tantrum.

    Donus advises using simple words like “angry” or “sad”. Then, point out that the other child would also feel sad because she did not share her toy.

    Related: 10 naughty things your 1-year-old does that are actually normal

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  • Every naptime is a battle
    4 / 5 Every naptime is a battle

    Help your little one make sense of her feelings. For example, if she refuses naptime and cries because she wants to play, say “I know you are sad that you can’t play more”.

    Then, teach the child to calmly ask to play rather than scream and cry to get what she wants, Donus says.

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  • My kid bites or hits whenever she doesn’t get her way
    5 / 5 My kid bites or hits whenever she doesn’t get her way

    Identify your child’s emotions and tell her that you understand she is “angry” or “frustrated”. But make it clear that hitting or biting is not acceptable.

    With very young toddlers, look for a replacement activity and direct their attention to something else interesting, Donus says. You could also suggest alternatives like taking a break to spend some quiet time in her room.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

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