You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘emotional intelligence’ category.

“The first step to take is to recognize that ALLemotions are healthy. In our culture, feelings such as joy, peace, and courage are seen as good feelings, yet feelings such as sad, mad, and scared are seen as bad feelings. Let’s rethink this to understand that it is not the feeling itself that creates negativity; it is the lack of expression of the feeling that creates negativity.   And in children, this negativity is often expressed through poor behaviors.” ~ Heather T Forbes

I was truly blessed to read Heather’s book and see her live. She gave me the permission I was unconsciously seeking to parent my child from a place of unconditional love and acceptance…

“Children need unconditional love and unconditional acceptance from their parents; we all know this and believe this. However, do we ever stop to consider how so many of the traditional parenting techniques accepted in our culture work contrary to this primal goal? Traditional parenting techniques that involve consequences, controlling directives, and punishment are fear-based and fear-driven. They have the ability to undermine the parentchild relationship and because they are tied into behavior, children easily interpret these actions to mean, “If I’m not good, I am not lovable.” Thus, children often build a subconscious foundation that says that love and approval is based off of performance…

So the next time your child becomes defiant, talks back, or is simply “ugly” to you, work to be in a place not to react to the behavior, but respond to your child. Respond to your child in an open way—open to meeting him in his heart and helping him understand the overload of feelings that are driving the behaviors. He doesn’t need a consequence or another parental directive at that moment; he just needs you to be present with him. As your children learn to respond back to you through the parent-child relationship, they won’t have the need to communicate through negative behaviors anymore. You’ll both have more energy for each other, building a relationship that will last a lifetime.”

Please click the link to read the full article Feelings, Behaviors, and Relationships by Heather:  http://www.beyondconsequences.com/feelings.pdf

It always amazes me how a genuine and simple acknowledgement of one’s feelings will almost instantly relieve the tension and transform to positive energy. This often leads to feeling understood, accepted and normal. Being receptive, sensitive, and in tuned to other’s needs and unique qualities often shows respect and gives them confidence to move on. And even though I have witnessed this beautiful transformation time and time again, I still get caught up in the moment and react, especially when I am under stress. I have been blessed to have been introduced to the work of Heather Forbes which really help me learn to accept my children’s as well as my own negative feelings and that we all need a safe place to process those big feelings. I discovered that my own negative reactions to their behaviors were a symptom of me needing to nurture myself.
Advertisements

“Strong feelings do not vanish by being banished; but they do diminish in intensity and lose their sharp edges when the listener accepts them with sympathy and understanding.”  ~Haim Ginott between parent and child

It is a sad myth that listening to one’s negative feelings or outbursts will reinforce their negative behavior. There is a huge difference between giving unconditional love and meeting vital needs versus “giving in”. I truly want to help people learn how to see this difference. To embrace the discomfort as well as genuinely accept, validate, and truly listen to another’s pain. I know it is not easy, more often gut-wrenching and you usually won’t get the ideal result you were expecting, yet it will make a difference. Imagine if more of our communications with loved ones and strangers were more supportive than critical, then just maybe a few less of us will be buried feeling alone, afraid, and miserable…

Because in the end, when we all see the ugly things that we see, and we think the ugly things that we think, and we sometimes even vocalize those things to the people around us, it turns out that we are all unknowingly screaming the exact same words to each other.

“I want to be okay, damn it. I want to be okay.”

If you close your eyes for a moment and listen, you’ll hear the world’s cry.

“I want to be loved. I want to feel normal.”

Listen closer.

“I want to not be judged.”

The more you are able to hear it, the louder it gets.

“I want what I believe to be okay.”

Louder. Louder. Louder still.

“I want to not be hated for who I am.”

Until suddenly it’s deafening.

“I am a good person. And I deserve to be loved.”

That’s what we’re all really crying.

Through the verdicts, and the odium, and the cries of foul-play. That’s what we’re all really crying.

“I am a good person. And I deserve to be loved.”

~Dan Pierce of Single Dad Laughing

click link for full article “The nine words that just might fix us all” http://www.danoah.com/2011/12/the-nine-words-that-just-might-fix-us-all.html

Listen, LISTEN
When you listen you affirm me
but your listening must be real
sensitive and serious
not looking busily around
not with a worried or distracted frown
not preparing what you are going to say next
but giving me your full attention.

You are telling me i am a person of value
important and worth listening to
one with whom you will share yourself.

I have ideas to share
feelings which i too often keep to myself
deep questions which struggle inside me for answers
I have hopes only tentatively acknowledged
which are not easy to share
and pain and guilt and fear i try to stifle

These are sensitive areas and a real part of me
but it takes courage to confide in another

I need to listen too if we are to become close
How can i tell you i understand?
I can show interest with my eyes or an occasional word
attuned to pick up not only spoken words
but also the glimmer of a smile
a look of pain, the hesitation, the struggle
which may suggest something as yet too deep for words

So let us take time together
respecting the others freedom
encouraging without hurrying
understanding that some things may never be brought to light
but others may emerge if given time

Each through this listening, enriches the other
with the priceless gift of intimacy.

by Keith Pearson, Melbourne, Australia (discovered from http://eqi.org/listen.htm)

Not long ago, I had two teacher figures say that my son was “emotionally immature.” Now any one who knows me or reads this blog could surmise that I am passionate about emotional intelligence, especially helping children to cope with emotions. Honestly, these complaints were very hard for me to swallow on many levels.

I, as respectfully as possible, accepted and validated their comments because of course he is emotionally immature: he’s six years old. I felt defensive, shocked and angered. I just wanted rip my son away from these people who I had entrusted to care for him. I even home-educate my son because most affordable school environments in my opinion are emotionally neglectful and abusive.

I internally chewed long and hard on their statements. I really had to grieve this situation. I typically blame my self when ever negative situations occur and worried intensely if I had messed up somewhere… I felt guilty for adding stress to the teachers; Was I crazy for teaching him to question authority and share his feelings? From their point of view and context, I could see where they were coming from yet it sickened me that this is the mind frame of most. I want to just shine a bight light on the world.

You see society thinks that one is emotionally mature because they handle their emotions. This is true to a degree, but one needs to have opportunities to express their emotions in order to learn how to handle their emotions in various settings and relationships.  There is a learning curve for every new dynamic or experience.

It seems we give kids till they are about one to three years old to work this out, then we demand they listen and obey us without whining or tantrums. Sadly, what many think as emotionally mature child is one who is appearing obedient under the guise of actually feeling fear and freezing (like in fight, flight or freeze mode). They don’t know what to do but have learned that more negative energy will be directed at them if they don’t just stop.  Eventually this leads to suppressing emotions and even dissociating when triggered in stressful environments. (There are uglier paths but I won’t dig there.)

Here’s is one my favorite quotes about emotional development and children:

“What is a normal child like? Does he just eat and grow and smile sweetly? No, that is not what he is like. The normal child, if he has confidence in mother and father, pulls out all stops. In the course of time he tries out his power to disrupt, to destroy, to frighten, to wear down, to waste, to wrangle, and to appropraite…At the start he absolutely needs to live in a circle of love and strength (with consequent tolerance) if he is not to be fearful of his own thoughts and his images to make progress in his emotional development.”

-Donald W. Winnecott, The Child, The Family, and the Outside World

Now, back to my sweet, sensitive son… Any one who knows him well has seen his empathetic, kind, and resilient nature as well as his ability to regulate himself . He started initiating group hugs when he was two and doing the meditative “ummmm” when he was in pre-school. He made a dragon from legos to guard his baby sister’s ashes and deeply mourned the loss of his great-grandma. When I am stressed, he echoes the words of the sage in me. He’s my buddha boy, and this is just a quick snapshot of the gracious qualities he shines upon me.

Currently, he is overwhelmed with contradictory messages. He now complains to me about how come other kids can just hit other kids and their siblings. I tell him that they are not supposed to and still in the process of learning to control their emotions and behaviors. That their brain gets flooded and they can’t get to those loving files. I validate that it is confusing and may seem unfair yet stress he has learned a special skill and can control himself even when he feels so angry.

He has also been asking why he cries so much but no one else seems to cry. He agonizes about what’s wrong with him and feels stupid that he cries so easily. I validate his pain yet stress that he cries because  he has a big heart: he cares so much about what people think of him and the quality of work he produces. That although he appears weak and dramatic by society’s expectations for “normal boy” behavior, he is indeed strong, brave, spirited and willful. Sadly, with so few kids to empathize with him, he is starting to wish he didn’t care so much.

The biggest kick in the shorts for me is that when a kid or even an adult for that matter is being emotional, that is actually a sign of trust; that they feel some what safe to process their hard feelings with you. These emotional outbursts are opportunities for connection and growth yet we as listeners can’t even handle the feelings. We feel too uncomfortable and just want to contain them as quickly as possible. Teachers fear they are disturbing learning environment in stead of seeing it as an intense learning experience. Even with my successful experiences of utilizing intense emotions, I still get triggered with fear and just want to stop the discomfort and run away. It is also hard to hug an angry child especially when the child in you just wants to fight back.

Now next time a child is giving you grief, take a deep breath and give them the gift of your attention, a warm embrace, a shoulder to cry on, and listen. You don’t even need to think of things to say just be still then reflect back what you are hearing them say.

‎”When children feel understood, their loneliness and hurt diminish. When children are understood, their love for their parent is deepened. A parent’s sympathy serves as emotional first aid for bruised feelings. When we genuinely acknowledge a child’s plight and voice her disappointment, she often gathers the strength to face reality.” ~Haim Ginott

The first three years of life provides the template for all future relationships.” ~John Bowlby

When a baby is in the womb it is the emotional state of the mother which decides how her baby’s brain will develop…he gets his dose of mother’s molecules-of-emotion through the placenta. If a baby is flooded in the hormones of stress he puts his growth effort into the part of the brain that is designed to deal with stress and threat – the flight or fight part of brain. He cannot do differently…When the baby in the womb is marinated in hormones of peacefulness, then he is free to get into to developing  his higher brain functions. These are the structures he will need for highest human qualities like love, trust, beauty, respect, empathy, and truth…

…the womb provides everything the baby needs…the mother-baby couple is the First Partnership. It is from this partnership that the baby learns to make relationships…Wise cultures are child-wise, and child-wise cultures do everything they can to ensure the mother and baby get off to the best start in the first 3 years of life. They understand the health of their culture depends on it…If the baby has a bonded relationship with mum, he grows heart-brain connections for the highest human qualities and so can make peaceful relationships with everyone in the group.” ~Pennie Brownlee, Dance with me in the Heart

Please watch this series on cutting edge research on brain development and relationships. Our world desperately needs this level of understanding if we are to maximize our human potential and achieve peace:

http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/series

If your baby could tell you what she really wants from you, she would tell you that she would like these three wishes: to feel safe, to feel loved, and to be respected.” ~Pennie Brownlee

Click this link to watch the webinar on Parenting with the Brain in Mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1LwEdsVImk

What is done to children they will do to society.” ~Dr Karl Menninger

I ran across the book, SummerhillA Radical Approach to Child Rearing by A.S. Neil  in 2010 as it was cited in Norm Lee’s site http://www.nopunish.net/pwp-ch2.htm. He writes “Neill taught me how extraordinary the possibilities when we really respect children, and place our trust in them and the democratic process.” I have not read the whole book, yet it speaks my language on many levels and greatly aligned with my research and experience. It feels validating that someone has had success using a loved-based and diplomatic approach. I also just read in Becoming Attached that John Bowlby (father of attachment theory) was a fan of Summerhill and progressive education.

I aspire to create safe-heaven like Summerhill on the island I now live and my sweet home Chicago. I will create a place where all children are accepted and will get their vital needs met. They will get unconditional love and respect they deserve. Where they will be safe to express and process all their thoughts and feelings. Where there is no boss because they are free to be their own boss and given tools and opportunities to regulate themselves. We will create a homestead to nourish ourselves from food to knowledge. Emotional intelligence, mindfulness and inspired, hands-on learning are the experience.

I have faith that we will make this dream come true

We will heal and transcend the suffering, negativity and the fear

The essence of free will and trust will emanate…

Here a few random quotes from the book:

“The thoughtful parent will be shocked to realize the extent of pressure and power that he is unwittingly using against the child. This book should provide new meanings for the words love, approval, and freedom… Children reared by such methods will develop within themselves the qualities of reason, love, integrity, and courage…”

“Obviously, a school that makes active children sit at desks studying mostly useless subjects is a bad school. It is a good school only for those who believe in such a school, for those uncreative citizens who want docile, uncreative children who will fit into a civilization whose standard of success is money.”

“Self regulation implies a belief in goodness of human nature; a belief that there is not, and never was, original sin.”

“Well, we set out to make a school in which we should allow children freedom to be themselves. In order to do this, we had to renounce all discipline, all direction, all suggestion, all moral training, and all religious instruction. We have been called
brave, but it did not require courage. All it required was what we had–a complete belief in the child as a good, not an evil, being. For almost forty years, this belief in the goodness of the child has never wavered; it rather has become a final faith.”

“We are human like everyone etc, and our human frailties often come into conflict with our theories. In the average home, if a child breaks a plate, father or mother makes a fuss–the plate becoming more important than the child. In Summerhill, if a maid or a child drops a pile of plates I say nothing and my wife says nothing. Accidents are accidents. But if a child borrows a book and leaves it out in the rain, my wife gets angry because books mean much to her. In such a case, I am personally indifferent, for books have little value for me. On the other hand, my wife seems vaguely surprised when I make a fuss about a ruined chisel. I value tools but tools mean little to her.”

“I think that the Freudian emphasis on aggression is due to the study of homes and schools as they are. You cannot study canine psychology by observing the retriever on a chain. Nor can you dogmatically theorize about human psychology when humanity is on a very strong chain–one fashioned by generations of life haters.”
“To be a free soul, happy in work, happy in friendship, and happy in live, or to be a miserable bundle of conflicts, hating one’s self and hating humanity – one or the other is the legacy that parents and teachers give to every child.”

You can read the whole book here: https://trisquel.info/files/summerhill-english_1.pdf

I found a review of students who attended Summerhill: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/schools/summerhill-alumni-what-we-learnt-at-the-school-for-scandal-2373066.html

“What it did was put me off conventional schooling, but it sure as hell left me with a childlike thirst for knowledge.”

Zoe Readhead, Neill’s daughter and Summerhill’s principal since 1985, says: “In society as a whole you would be considered ‘more successful’ if you studied maths and sciences than if you took art, woodwork and drama. Who can define success? The only person who knows if they are successful is the person themselves. We produce people who feel in control of their lives and have the courage to follow their interests.”

Hussein Lucas concludes: “The key feature that sums up the distinctive nature of the Summerhill experience is the virtual absence of fear: fear of failure; fear of authority; fear of social ostracism; fear of life and the consequent failure to engage with it with a feeling of optimism and a positive outlook.”

A Covenant for Honouring Children

We find these joys to be self evident: That all children are created whole, endowed with innate intelligence, with dignity and wonder, worthy of respect. The embodiment of life, liberty and happiness, children are original blessings, here to learn their own song. Every girl and boy is entitled to love, to dream and belong to a loving “village.” And to pursue a life of purpose.

We affirm our duty to nourish and nurture the young, to honour their caring ideals as the heart of being human. To recognize the early years as the foundation of life, and to cherish the contribution of young children to human evolution.

We commit ourselves to peaceful ways and vow to keep from harm or neglect these, our most vulnerable citizens. As guardians of their prosperity we honour the bountiful Earth whose diversity sustains us. Thus we pledge our love for generations to come.

Child Honouring Principles

The words of A Covenant for Honouring Children suggest nine guiding principles for living. Taken together, they offer a holistic way of restoring natural and human communities, thus brightening the outlook for the world we share. They form the basis for a multi-faith consensus on societal renewal.

Respectful Love is key. It speaks to the need to respect children as whole people and to encourage them to know their own voices. Children need the kind of love that sees them as legitimate beings, persons in their own right. Respectful love instills self-worth; it’s the prime nutrient in human development. Children need this not only from parents and caregivers, but from the whole community.

Diversity is about abundance: of human dreams, intelligences, cultures, and cosmologies; of earthly splendours and ecosystems. Introducing children to biodiversity and human diversity at an early age builds on their innate curiosity. There’s a world of natural wonders to discover, and a wealth of cultures, of ways to be human. Comforted by how much we share, we’re able to delight in our differences.

Caring Community refers to the “village” it takes to raise a child. The community can positively affect the lives of its children. Child-friendly shopkeepers, family resource centres, green schoolyards, bicycle lanes, and pesticide-free parks are some of the ways a community can support its young.

Conscious Parenting can be taught from an early age; it begins with empathy for newborns. Elementary and secondary schools could teach nurturant parenting (neither permissive nor oppressive) and provide insight into the child-rearing process. Such knowledge helps to deter teen pregnancies and unwanted children. Emotionally aware parents are much less likely to perpetuate abuse or neglect.

Emotional Intelligence sums up what early life is about: a time for exploring emotions in a safe setting, learning about feelings and how to express them. Those who feel loved are most able to learn and to show compassion for others. Emotional management builds character and is more important to later success than IQ. Cooperation, play, and creativity all foster the “EQ” needed for a joyful life.

Nonviolence is central to emotional maturity, to family relations, to community values, and to the character of societies that aspire to live in peace. It means more than the absence of aggression; it means living with compassion. Regarding children, it means no corporal punishment, no humiliation, no coercion. “First do no harm,” the physicians’ oath, must now apply to all our relations; it can become a mantra for our times. A culture of peace begins in a nonviolent heart, and a loving home.

Safe Environments foster a child’s feeling of security and belonging. The very young need protection from the toxic influences that permeate modern life-from domestic neglect and maltreatment, to the corporate manipulations of their minds, to the poisonous chemicals entering their bodies. The first years are when children are most impressionable and vulnerable; they need safeguarding.

Sustainability refers not merely to conservation of resources, renewable energy development, and anti-pollution laws. To be sustainable, societies need to build social capacity by investing in their young citizens, harnessing the productive power of a contented heart. The loving potential of every young child is a potent source for good in the world.

Ethical Commerce is fundamental to a child-honouring world. It includes a revolution in the design, manufacture and sale of goods; corporate reform; “triple bottom line” business; full-cost accounting; tax and subsidy shifts; political and economic cycles that reward long-term thinking. Ethical commerce would enable a restorative economy devoted to the well being of the very young.

see original here: http://www.raffinews.com/files/child_honouring/covenant_principles.pdf

for more information: http://www.raffinews.com/child-honouring/what-is-child-honouring

What is a normal child like? Does he just eat and grow and smile sweetly? No, that is not what he is like. The normal child, if he has confidence in mother and father, pulls out all stops. In the course of time he tries out his power to disrupt, to destroy, to frighten, to wear down, to waste, to wrangle, and to appropraite…At the start he absolutely needs to live in a circle of love and strength (with consequent tolerance) if he is not to be fearful of his own thoughts and his images to make progress in his emotional development

-Donald W. Winnecott, The Child, The Family, and the Outside World

I first read this quote from the book Raising Cain (page 239).  I think I shouted “Yes!!! Exactly!” a dozen times as I read it. I find it a bit amusing when I over hear parents talking about “How could their child do x,y, or z,  to them?”  How do you react when someone cuts you off? Or tells you “no”? Or calls you out on an inappropriate behavior? I am guessing it is in the vein of “How dare you do that to me?”

Children are reacting normally. It is just most people have been dismissed, shamed, and spoon-fed or even clobbered into them these so-called beliefs of how we should be. We are terrified that if our child behaves this way now, that they will never learn the “right way”.  So we react to our fear with anger, not even noticing that own reaction is the same reaction of our child’s, the only difference is that ours may be bit more refined [Although I have heard of an adult hitting (or worse) a child because their child hit someone].

I have seen that it takes a lot (sadly, a lot of emotional harm) for a child to lose confidence in their mother and father. They are truly resilient so we have ample opportunities to change and respond appropriately with unconditional love and respectful guidance. In the end, if one learns to truly embrace the negative, love and accept yourself and everyone else through it, then the negativity dissipates and transcends into unimaginable greatness.

Being human is such a on-going learning process because even though I have experienced these wonders, I frequently get caught up in a wave of negativity and react. But I know I have made  heaps of progress because this is happening less often and I am catching them sooner. I am grateful I have a partner who loves me unconditionally. I have the support, courage, and insight to give this level of presence and acceptance to my children. as well as love us all through when we struggle.

“The problem is, and I learned this from the research, that you cannot selectively numb emotion. You cannot say, ‘Here’s the bad stuff. Here’s grief, here’s shame, here’s disappointment. I don’t want to feel these. I’m going to have a couple of beers and a banana-nut muffin. I don’t want to feel these.’ … You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects or emotions. So when we numb those, we numb joy. We numb gratitude. We numb happiness. And then we are miserable and we are looking for purpose and meaning. And then we feel vulnerable so we have a couple of beers and a banana-nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle…

To practice gratitude and joy, in those moments of kind of terror, when we’re wondering, ‘Can I love you that much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?’ Just to be able to stop and instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, ‘I’m just so grateful. Because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive…

And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we’re enough. Because when we work from a place that says, ‘I’m enough,’ then we stop screaming and start listening. We’re kinder and gentler to the people around us and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

Click link for more highlights of video http://alexlinsker.com/brene-brown-on-vulnerability-and-wholeheartedness/

To learn more about Brene Brown, click here http://www.brenebrown.com/welcome

 

‘GOOD’ CHILDREN – AT WHAT PRICE? THE SECRET COST OF SHAME
By Robin Grille and Beth McGregor http://www.our-emotional-health.com/articles/shame.pdf

Sadly, we have emotionally raped men and only left them with blunt objects to fight. Our boys our crying for so much more. Let’s unpack the “man box” and give men back their emotional tools and rights. Let’s cultivate empathy and mutual respect for feminine and masculine traits. We are unable to coexist peacefully with out this level of connection and understanding. We are all part of something much greater, we nourish each other, we need eachother….

When ever you feel the urge to use blunt force, take a deep breath and hug!!!!

Here are some resources to cultivate emotional tools:

http://www.pbs.org/opb/raisingcain/

http://www.williampollack.com/

http://www.fabermazlish.com/Books.htm#HowToTalk

http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/bruceperry/index.htm

Thank you for visiting and listening. If you are interested in receiving notifications of new rAmbLings, subscribe here by entering your email...

Join 10 other followers

%d bloggers like this: