How to Emotion Coach Your Child, a Review of the Go-To Mom’s Parents’ Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children

Parenting is hard. OK, it’s harder than hard. It can be incredibly difficult at times. As the parent to 16, 13, 12 and 5 year olds right now, I question exactly how I’m doing and whether I have failed my children somewhere along the way. I’m not the perfect parent by any stretch. And after reading “The Go-To Mom’s Parents’ Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children”, by Kimberley Clayton Blaine, I realize I have some serious catching up to do.

Not sure what emotion coaching is? I wasn’t either. In her book, this licensed therapist explains that emotion coaching is basically about teaching your child how to recognize and express various feelings appropriately. In emotion coaching, you coach your child to understand and communicate feelings. It’s a way of life really, and it allows your child to grow up more resilient and socially adept. It requires you to know and respect your child, understanding that if you have more than one that each will be different. It means you should avoid denying, discounting or minimizing their feelings. It means giving them power to make good choices without relying on manipulation.

Still not clear? The book explains your relationship with your child requires you to re-evaluate all the old parenting styles of the past. Time-outs, reward systems, the standard go-to solutions of the past may not be as effective as you once believed. Instead, allow your children to express themselves emotionally without suppressing or denying those emotions. It’s the foundation for a strong relationship and a hefty dose of self-confidence in your children that will help guide them through life.

The book outlines real-life scenarios with your child and guides you through how to handle them. It’s more than a “how-to”, though. It explains the logic behind the advice and puts into perspective some of the parenting problems you may have faced in the past. It reminds you your child’s behavior is half the issue…how you react is the other half.

I regret not having read this book sooner. Even with 16 years of experience, I have so much to learn about positive parenting and helping to give my children their best start to life possible.