Seven Keys for Helping Grow Your Child's Emotional Resilience
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What does every parent wish for? Ask any parent what their hopes and dreams are for their children and you will get many answers. Typically, “to be happy” and “to lead a life of meaning and purpose” are at the top of the list. Because parents have such deep love and high aspirations for their children, they may unintentionally begin to use a “helicopter approach” to parenting.
“Helicopter parenting” refers to a parenting style in which moms and dads “hover” over their child and pay exceptionally close attention to their child’s problems and experiences. Helicopter parents try to resolve their child’s problems and make efforts to stop negative experiences from happening. The intention of this parenting style is positive however, children need all types of social experiences to learn the skills needed for positive relationships and life success. Sometimes good intentions (“I love my child so much I want to protect them from upsetting experiences and feelings”) can actually have a reverse effect on a child by not allowing him/her to work through social problems independently.
Seven Keys for Helping Grow Your Child’s Emotional Well-Being and Resilience
The founders of Kimochis™, creators of toys designed to facilitate family communication, have studied the challenges and opportunities of helping children make sense of their emotional experience. After years of teaching in schools and collaborating with educators, seven keys to effective emotional communication have been developed. The seven Keys to Communication recommended by the Kimochis™ team provide tips and tricks for helping children navigate through upsetting emotions. The keys include strategies for parents to use when they struggle to manage their own emotions and want to rescue their child from an upset feeling. Always remember that when you do not allow your child to experience, learn, and grow from challenging moments, the less practice he/she will have to master these important life skills. After all, we do not do our child’s math homework for them. We want them to learn how to do it themselves. We know that children need to practice math facts to hone their skills. The same goes for social and emotional skills. Yet, sometimes we accidentally give our children more emotional help than needed in upsetting social situations. Modeling how to cope with upset feelings and coaching your child with what they can say and do are ways to teach your child the social-emotional skills needed to navigate life situations.
Key 1 Eye contact
Why this Key is important
The way we use our eyes when we speak and listen can result in a positive, neutral, or negative connection. Squinting eyes may send the message that we want to solve our child’s problem. Overly worried eyes could send the message that problems and upset feelings are bad. Become more aware of using compassionate eye contact that shows confidence in your child’s ability to learn from difficult social experiences.
Communication Concepts and Tools
- Helicopter parents use troubled or overly worried eyes that send the following nonverbal message – “Problems are upsetting, and should immediately be fixed. I will help make it happen.”
- Use eye contact that is relaxed and calm ands ends the message that youcare and are confident in your child’s ability to think through and resolve difficult social situations.
- Self-talk Ask yourself whether your eyes send this message – “Tell me more. I am here to listen and am confident you can work through this.”
- Talk about talking Ask family members if your eyes send a caring message. For example, “When I listen, sometimes I squint. Do you know this means I care and am listening?”
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