On Thursday, December 4th, the AACC hosted an International Christian Coaching Association (ICCA) webinar featuring Josh Straub, Ph.D. Dr. Straub spoke on Emotion Coaching: Raising Kids who take Responsibility, Develop Self-Control, and Show Empathy. Viewers from all 50 states tuned in to hear this incredible talk from Dr. Straub, as well as listeners from Canada, England, Hong Kong, Japan, and Switzerland.
Emotion coaching is about focusing on connection and relationships. Tying in a spiritual aspect, Dr. Straub discussed how we should base our parenting of our children on how God parents us. Parenting techniques may change over time, but the posture from which we parent should always remain the same. When children get upset and react, there are different postures parents use to respond. Punishing, dismissing, minimizing are all damaging ways to respond. An emotion coaching approach instructs parents to address the child’s emotions, rather than simply addressing the behavior.
There are several ways that parents can prevent the home from being a safe place, which include abuse, perfectionism, and parental agendas. These parental tactics can be damaging to the parent-child relationship. Dr. Straub talked about how when parents wrong their children, they need to be specific about the offense so that the kids can connect the offence with forgiveness. Doing so teaches children that since their parents aren’t perfect, they don’t have to be perfect either. It also teaches them what they should do when they wrong others.
In the second half of the webinar, Dr. Straub talked about what it means to teach kids to live and love well. He began with talking about emotions. Emotions involve three interrelated systems: The ability to think, feel, and relate. Teaching kids how to label what they’re feeling. In order to feel safe and have a healthy place to grow, children need to be able to think, feel, and relate with a safe person. He discussed three pathways to parenting and three parts to responding well to a child.
As he closed, Dr. Straub made sure that his listeners were reminded of the importance of creating a safe, loving environment for children emotionally as well as physically. “I believe that as parents, the more emotionally safe we are, the more loving an environment we can set with our kids, the better off our society can be in the long run.”