Parenting to overcome stress

This is a piece on children and stress, very basic, a little simplistic – but not bad! Premise is that there is negative stress and positive stress. Parents need help kids know the difference and know what to do about it.

What to do? Well, a few suggestions. Conclusion:

EMOTIONAL intelligence helps children adjust to the needs and pressures of life. Life’s challenges often cause anxiety, leading children to seek reassurance.

Children can be taught to deal with challenges by identifying their emotions and coping with these obstacles. While pressure or stress is unpleasant, children need to be taught that it does not stop there.

Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children

I liked these points — I agree that helping name feelings is a great way for parents to build dialogue about this important area. Often it’s hard when parents don’t have a lot of words for feelings themselves – or when they are too in a hurry. It’s not necessary to use “technical” words for feelings, e.g., instead of “jealous” it’s also great to say, “does it feel like when someone takes your toy?”:

  • One thing parents need to remember is that they are “emotion coaches” for their children. Emotion coaches help their children name and discuss the feelings they may have.
  • Parents should not try to solve the problem, but instead try to relate to the child’s experience and respect the child’s ideas.

I did not like this – it bothers me when people write “research says” and don’t have the research!
Research indicates that parents can use a variety of ways to become better emotion coaches. One approach is that parents should pretend what it would be like to be in the child’s situation and try to imagine what the child might be feeling.

Raising emotionally intelligent children

Susan Routh
OSU Extension Office
Raising a child is said to be one of the most challenging jobs in the world. Learning how to read a child’s emotions can be just as challenging.

Adults may often find themselves having difficulty identifying their own emotions, let alone knowing how to read their child’s emotions.

Long time… and EQ for Hiring

Well I have been a lame blogger. Apparently writing a newsletter, training programs, AND a blog is too much. But I thought of a new idea. I am going to put links to different articles I get into this blog.

Another article on importance of EQ for job success.

Good line: Companies have to hire good communicators if they want to survive.

Not-so-good line: As for employees, older workers tend to have more emotional intelligence, usually through hard-won experience. Younger workers, however, can close the experience gap by showing genuine excitement about the job, interest in the company, and a willingness to learn and grow. A) age has a slight correlation w EQ… IE, while mean EQ increases a little w age, MANY older people have lower EQ than many younger. ALSO, “excitement” and “interest” are not EQ! Younger people can close the EQ gap by being committed to learning about themselves and others!

`Emotional intelligence’ a new hiring criterion
By Erica Noonan, Globe Staff | September 10, 2006
In this job market, it’s not just who you know, or even what skills you’ve mastered. It’s how well you understand other people that will get you ahead.

This is the age of emotional intelligence, often called EQ, and today’s hiring managers want proof you’ve got it.

Do you have the maturity and independence to follow a project to completion? Can you motivate and lead a group of your peers? Do you genuinely care about the company’s values and goals? Are you the type to be sensitive to the needs of a troubled co-worker? Can you control your anger when a supervisor is rude to you?

action, intention, purpose

Yesterday Max was having one of his usual tiffs with his sister — she wasn’t paying attention to him and so he went an took one of her crayons or something. It escalated and he came crying into my office. As I was asking him about the incident, I noticed I was using our EQ model as a coaching process:

Know Yourself — identify emotions and behaviors: What happened? What did you do?

Choose Yourself — identify intentions and the (mis)match between action and intention: How did you want Emma to respond? What did you want from Emma? What actually happened?

Give Yourself — clarify the need to change by assessing the intention against your larger purpose: Is that the kind of friend you really want to be? Were you making the world a kinder place?



It’s definitely feeling like springtime now that we’re working on the vegetable garden. Trying to get Emma and Max to actually help when their “helping” may be more difficult than the rest of the work…

It’s been quite awhile since I posted here last. I guess if I was not doing so much other writing I’d be blogging more… I’m kinda spent on writing! Did 2 Q&A articles this week, on for eLearning producers in US, and 1 for a newspaper in Portugal. Hopefully both will come out next week. I also just finished a white paper on EQ and Optimism, and I really need to get the press release out on that. GAHHHH. So many balls to juggle! Good news is we are almost done editing the Leadership report for our assessment. The template is over 100 pages so it’s quite a task.

Anyway, if there is anyone actually reading this blog and wondering “where’s Josh been,” now you know.

Triple Threat – On the Rocks in Arches

This weekend was a wonderful family reunion. Uncle Frank turned 70, and about 150 people gathered in Moab to cheer him. Amazing collection of folks from a lifetime of work and play. They all talked about Frank’s enthusiasm for life, his trustworthiness and adventerousness. The guy started white-water kayaking in is 60s. Whoa. I was so inspired by the curiousity, courage, and playfulness with which he’s lived.

Meanwhile, Max was falling in love with climbing. As a boy who loves rocks, of course scambling up them is a “must do.” The glorious red rocks of Moab are nothing short of stunning. 300 million years of rock revealed in these astounding striated towers, mesas, and buttes.

The problem is I’m pretty damn scared of falling. Probably b/c I fell off a little bit of a mountain when I was about 16… somehow the downward slip always looks just a hairsbreadth away. So that’s pretty challenging for someone who like adventuring around, and I’ve sort-of-learned to cope. But now standing on the edge of a rock with Emma and Max I’m barely coherent. Time for some serious emotional intelligence!

We had a lovely weekend, no one fell of any rocks, and I pushed some boundaries. Emma had about 4 different birthday celebrations — including a picnic perched up in the North Window arch. Then she was invited to join Frank when it was time to sing Happy Birthday – 70 to him, 7 to her. Both seemed to like that better.

Stress and Recovery

The last two days I’ve been going nonstop. Yesterday I had a call scheduled every hour. AHHHH. There’s some good research about “stress and recovery” — ie, when we stretch, we need time to bounce back. But overscheduled, the last two days have had not enough recovery. I’ve noticed at the end of the days I’m totally, completely wiped. No more room at the inn. It’s been even more clear b/c I’m not fully recovered from my cold, so my reserve-energy-tanks are not as full.

An important reminder for me is that if I go “full out” during part of the day, I end up getting less done in the full day. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

EQ and Gross National Happiness

I love how emotional intelligence is becoming a truly international concept. Just saw this article from Bhutan saying that corporate success should contribute not just to GNP, but also to “Gross National Happiness” (GNH). Some good strategies presented for engaging a team – and a country. Here’s the premise:

There is a body of management practice, evolved mainly in US and Europe, on how to develop an organizational culture driven by vision and values shared explicitly by everyone. It is a management science about aligning organizations’ operational and personnel systems, including financial and other incentives facing all employees, strictly to their collective vision and values. It is also an art, to be practiced by leaders in inspiring and motivating their people. Likewise, one should not forget, by everyone else to inspire and motivate their leaders. And, by all to nurture an open and trusting work environment where passion and “emotional intelligence” matter just as much as professional and technical excellence.

Cool! And right on — if leaders truly used their emotional intelligence to create a trusting and trustworthy environment, can you imagine how organizations would thrive? GNH would go up!!

She goes onto point out that relationship-centered leadership creates adaptable organizations: “Wherever successful, the practice has created nimble and dynamic organizations that not only deliver first-rate outcomes, but also learn constantly from their successes and mistakes, adapting proactively to changing environment.” Sorely needed.

Poolside Post-Reunion

It’s been wintery (such as it ever is here on the California Coast) for months, and suddenly today it’s summer. So after much impassioned pleading, I inflated the blow-up pool. Much fun for the under-four-foot-high crowd, but part of the pleasure seems to be fighting with your brother or sister. So I just did the classic Dad shout about “if you don’t have anything nice to say.” Mine is, “If you can’t use your words nicely you’re both out of there!” Sigh.

So yesterday was fun and weird. Lots of people I sort-of-recognized, kind of an altered universe of past-into-now. All my high school friends are old! How did that happen? It was cool to meet them again and discover a bunch of pretty nice people. Some married, some divorced, some wishing they were one or the other. Lots with kids, some without, some wishing they were one or the other…

I started at Head Royce in 4th grade, so several people there I’d known since I was 9 years old. Wow. It’s funny what I remember of them, and what they remember of me. Lots of people asked about our old house above the Cal football stadium — we used to hang out on the roof watching games. One guy, Mike, has been telling his kids about it when they go to games now. He said his kids think I was the luckiest kid in the world ‘cause I got to watch all the practices and games. But I’d kind of forgotten about it. It’s like there these jewels getting dusty in a drawer.

There were some surprises. There was a kid called Jon, my last real memory of him was a fight we had in 5th grade when he bit me through my Tough-Skin jeans. Now he’s this gracious, handsome tall guy, who was great! I remembered “Karpo” as a sort of strange kid who threw his backpack through the window in Ms. Harris’ 7th grade history class. Some friends reminded me that was the day I punched Karpo in the stomach and he lay on the floor the rest of the class — Ms. Harris just ignored him there. Now he’s an incredibly tall attorney. I hope he’s forgiven me.

Geez, it sounds like I was fighting all the time. I don’t really remember that part of myself. Makes me wonder if my whole perception of myself is really different than my behavior. Maybe that’s part of what’s scary about the whole reunion thing — you might end up learning something about yourself you wanted to forget.

JB and David and I were pretty much best friends from 7th grade. They were both there and I was truly glad to connect, even if it was just for two hours.

All through 8th grade we called David “Generalisimo” and he wore a Castro-esque cap and we pretended to be intellectual. I figured we’d be friends forever, but I haven’t talked to JB for 18 years and David for 20. How did that happen? I think it’s one of the biggest regrets of my life — not just JB and David, but so many people who were so important to me for a time, then I moved onto a new place and new passions and lost touch. I know the phone rings on both ends and everything, but I’m wondering what it is about me.

I guess a big part is that Patty and I fell madly in love so young. We met when I was 20, we started dating 2 years later, and were married just after I turned 25. We did so much together — between theater and traveling and learning to be teachers. Teaching is a pretty obsessive job no matter what, but we were (are) really work-a-holics. It’s like between each other and work there wasn’t much room in our lives. Somehow we’ve made room for the kids, and kids’ friends, and the neighborhood… so maybe there really was room but I just didn’t pay attention.

One piece of good news — people really do change. For example, we all knew JB was going to end up in law school, which he did. Then after he started practice, he got interested in teaching. Now he’s a high school history and government teacher in the inner city. Meanwhile his kid brother who didn’t quite make it through school ended up practicing law. I guess people really do change.

The strangest part was at the beginning of the party feeling like I was back in high school — on the outside looking in. There were lots of people who seemed to be having a great time, and I was sort of standing there wondering how to step into the circle. Instead I floated around the outside, and made myself approach these quasi-strangers. The difference is now I know that my sense of worth and identity come from within, and I don’t really need other people’s attention to feel ok. But still, all these years later, I long for it.