It is interesting that there is a strong connection between academic success and emotional adjustment. Unfortunately schools do not do much with regards to teaching children how to develop their emotional IQ, or their relational IQ. Relationship skills are relatively easy to teach, however, many adults have their own challenges in this area, and schools generally focus on academics exclusively. In addition many adults are insensitive to their own emotions and view emotions as problematic and not a source of usable information. There have been studies done which have examined parental style, and how parents orient themselves toward their children's emotions. The results seem to show that there are two primary parenting styles regarding emotions. The following information was taken from a lecture by Dr. John Gottman The first group is identified as,"Emotional Coaching Parents, These parents notice lower intensity emotions within themselves. They communicate to their children that all emotions are acceptable, however, not all behavior is acceptable. They view their child's emotional expression as an opportunity to connect and help their children learn. This is much like what we call the "teachable moment", in progressive education. As children learn to relate more effectively with their emotions they improve their intellectual functioning. They also improve their ability to relate to others. The second group they identified as "Emotionally Dismissive Parents' ', These parents can be very warm and caring, however, they believe that negative emotions are harmful to their children. They do not notice subtle emotions in themselves and have a tendency to lack awareness of their internal experience. They also view emotional experiences as a choice. We can deny our emotions, however children really don't have a choice regarding their experience. We can teach them to repress their feelings. This outcome is disastrous. Many of my adult clients have been taught this by their parents, now they are plagued by depression, anxiety, and panic experiences. It may well be that our emotions are like an internal GPS's that let us know what we need. It seems that varying types of stressors can impede our children's intellectual functioning. The research regarding relationships between parents and parents and their children is becoming very sophisticated. We are able to know how intensely parents argue by measuring stress hormones in a child's urine. We might not think our adult conflicts are not having an impact on our children, but this is actually not the case. If we want our children to improve their academic functioning, help them to feel better about themselves, reduce stress, and help them develop improved social skills.
Helping our Children Improve Academics
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