Intelligent About Emotions

After finishing the “Emotoscope” ap for Facebook I was shaking dust from my brain to come up w/ another fun way for people to learn about feelings. Said to Patty (my wife), “How about a cool online EQ jeopardy game?”

istock_000002420436xsmall.jpg“Boring” – she said it more delicately. “I mean, what would you ask?” **

Emma (8) is listening in (as usual – big ears!!) and pipes up, “jealousy?”

Right on! “What is jealousy?” I continue to Patty, “Or how about ‘ a little anger + sadness’?” Blank look from Patty, Emma again:


Whoa! Emotional literacy in action.

And not enough. Maybe being intelligent about emotions is the foundation. Then the graduate course: to be intelligent with emotions.

** in defense of Patty: her point was that this game has only “right/wrong” answers and our learning philosophy commits us to deeper forms of reflection

Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This…

Yesterday morning that song kept running through my head. Family and I were walking on the beach, a glorious, amazing January-I-am-so-lucky- to-live-in-California kind of day, watching my kids collecting sea glass… and thinking about my dad in the hospital.

We don’t quite know what’s wrong, it seems most likely to be lung cancer, we will know in a couple of days. He just had an incredibly amazing surgery to remove a tumor and 1 vertebrae, and today he’s been able to sit in a chair and will be out of ICU. istock_lighthouse.jpg

It’s hard to hold onto how miraculous that is — while also thinking about the fact that he’ll start the “real” battle with this cancer in another week.  These emotional paradoxes amaze me.  How at once I can feel this incredible sense of blessing and concurrently feel a looming abyss of loss.

I don’t want to “go there” until we get the oncology report, and I keep slipping into the shadows of grief – into thinking how much we’ll miss him, how much I’ll miss him, about how there are so many things we’d saved for someday.

Iranian Children’s Hope for Peace

A friend of a friend went to Iran recently and took photos of kids and of their drawings about war and peace. Someone else then put together this video – it’s a little long, but I found it kept drawing me in. What must it feel like for children to hear superpowers talking about bombing their country? How do we help children make sense of the past and current conflicts so they create something different for the future?

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.

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?