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4.7 out of 5 stars
Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child
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on August 24, 2015
Really great read.
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on July 11, 2015
Excellent book. Gottman never disappoints.
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on April 16, 2015
great book
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on June 22, 2013
The author should be commended for taking a scientific approach to parenting. He concisely states his thesis on page 24, and fleshes it out for the remainder of the book.

Briefly, parenting can be broken down into three styles: "dismissing," "disapproving," and "laissez-faire." All three are damaging to the child's development, and detrimental to the child's well being. The preferred alternative is to be "emotion coaching." Gottman's five steps for raising an emotionally intelligent child follow:

1. become aware of the child's emotion;
2. recognize the emotion as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching;
3. listen empathetically, validating the child's feelings;
4. help the child find words to label the emotion he is having; and
5. set limits while exploring strategies to solve the problem at hand.

The challenge is: I can't get his advice to work. The problem lies in the unstated intermediate step between (2) and (3). Picture this scenario:
* Your toddler is not getting his way.
* You are aware of the child's frustration, and recognize it as the opportunity it undoubtedly is for intimacy and teaching.
* You try to listen, validate and label the feeling - but your toddler isn't interested. All he does is scream and screech at the top of his lungs, flail his limbs, resisting all attempts at reason or discussion. This devolves into a mini tantrum.

What is the preferred method of calming a child when any method of comforting that you try fails? Do you ignore the child until he calms down? That would be dismissive... Do you admonish the child sternly, when he begins pushing, shoving, etc.? That would be disapproving... The alternative is to let the tantrum progress, and the child to do as he pleases. But that would be laissez-faire...

I've sent the author numerous emails, pleading with him help me troubleshoot the process. They have all gone unanswered, which is very disappointing.

tl;dr The process isn't working for me, and the author isn't helpful. I regret the $21 CAD spent.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2007
I was overwhelmed. I had what I thought was a way to frequently angry 4yr old child. Oh yeah, not to mention the little twin brothers that were demanding almost all of my attention. I used to say, as long as my daughter was in a helpful/good mood I can manage. I don't feel that way anymore. After employing the techniques in this book and understanding where my focus should be, I've managed to feel like I can be a more effective parent. I wasn't satisfied with the typical advice, "put her in her room when she's yelling mad". I always felt like it was my job to help her find appropriate ways to express her feelings. Putting her in her room just made her more upset. The book emphasizes the importance of expressing anger and sadness, and that it is our job to "coach our children through these negative emotions". I highly recommend this book to other parents that want to help their kids learn to manage their emotions (and help themselves along the way). I've recommended this to all my mommy friends.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2007
The world will be a better place if every parent buys this book.

Like many parents, my husband and I were often baffled by what we thought were my daughters night terrors. She would some times wake up screaming unconsolably for half an hour at a time. None of the books seemed to be able to explain it.

I had just recieved this book when she had one of these night terrors...one that particularly worried us because she was screaming "I don't like myself!". We'd never heard her say anything that concerning, before. We freaked!

I ran to the book..read two pages..came back and asked my daughter "Did you have a bad day? Are you feeling frustrated because we got mad at you today? ... She said "Yeah!". We talked and she was asleep in 5 minutes!

We realized her terrors were a release caused by pent-up toddler emotional frustration.

Buy this book ! You won't regret it.
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This book is applied and practical - it provides a step by step solution. I also found the self-assesment tool very valuable.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2004
I liked the book but also enjoyed the Emotional Intelligence Quickbook because it came with a test where I went online and found out my actual EQ, which was really helpful.
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on March 29, 2003
This is an incredible book. I gives som many interesting ideas and examples.
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on March 18, 2003
Another great parenting book to add to my list. This book was a great parent evaluator. Every parent "needs" to be an emotion coach.
A must for every parent! You'll have no regrets.
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