Just like learning to name oranges, zebras, and fire trucks, our children need to learn how to name their emotions. They need to understand what emotions are and how to handle them.
When we dismiss our children’s emotions, what is this teaching them? It’s teaching them that their emotions don’t matter which in turn teaches them that they are not important. Emotion Coaching is when we take the time to listen to our children’s fears or frustrations and coach them along to identify the emotion and let them discover how best to handle the situation. It teaches our children that they’re important. We don’t necessarily want to solve their problems, but can guide them on how to find acceptable solutions.
Let’s try this example, your child is afraid of the dark, but as you’re tucking them in it’s discovered that the night light bulb has burned out.