Does "Emotion Coaching" Constitute New Age Parenting?

Tuesday April 16, 2013

By Amy Morin

I often hear people cringe when they talk about the latest parenting techniques and they call it "new age parenting." When I think of new age parenting I think about people who insist that every child is always a winner and it's about not making kids do things they don't want to. I don't know if that is the same image that "new age parenting" conjures up for other people or not.

Emotion coaching however, isn't about all that touchy-feely stuff. Instead, it's about teaching kids about feelings. It doesn't say you can't still be realistic or give them consequences. It just means that you help kids understand their emotions.

I think it would be great if kids had a better understanding of feelings. It might greatly reduce my caseload as a therapist, however. I spend a lot of time talking to kids about their feelings and teaching them the difference between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. A lot of kids (and even many adults) are surprised to learn that angry is a feeling but aggression is a behavior. Feelings are okay and being mad isn't bad.

If you haven't checked out the five types of discipline, look them over and see which ones are most closely related to your discipline techniques. I find that most parents don't fit into one nice category but often use a combination of techniques based on their child's needs and what works.


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