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The Heart of Parenting: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent ChildThe Heart of Parenting: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John M. Gottman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am a big fan of the Gottman's research on marriage and was pleasantly surprised to find they also did work on parenting. This book is about how to become your child's Emotion Coach and raise emotionally healthy children. I felt that the research and strategies presented in this book were good. Based on an anecdote in this book, when my 3 year old left her stuffed monkey in the van and started repeating over and over again that she wanted monkey, I said, "I know you're sad that you don't have monkey right now, he will be waiting for you when we get into the van," and after I did that she stopped asking for him. It seems that she did just want an acknowledgement of her feelings.

I did feel that the latter chapters either needed to be fleshed out more, especially the ones on child development, because they did just seem tacked on there. Considering most of the examples on emotion coaching involved children who are verbal, I would have liked more examples for children who aren't, especially as my 6 year old is autistic and can't carry a conversation yet, and it feels so easy to tell him what he is feeling because he can't give me his feedback or correct me if I'm wrong.

I also appreciated the section on times when emotion coaching is not advised, such as when mediating an argument between your two children when both are in the room, because I had tried to do something similar in the past, or when you are pressed for time.

Overall this is a good book, I wish it were longer, included more on child development, and had a bit more on using these strategies for children who aren't verbal. In essence, this is the starting point for learning about emotional coaching.

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