You know how it goes right? You start homework time with the serenity of a Buddhist monk and nurturing intentions of Mother Teresa, but as your VERY logical explanations are met with confused expressions, distracted glances out the window and repeated mistakes, you find yourself getting frustrated. Tension creeps into your voice, your stress levels rise and before you know it, you are one angry parent left with one sullen, disengaged child.
I speak to parents all the time who are stressed about their child’s performance at school. They believe they’re doing all they can to help their child but they still feel like it’s one unhappy battle after another. On top of that, if you’re a single parent and your child moves between homes, it’s even more frustrating when they then go back to their other parent who doesn’t support your efforts at all.
I used to absolutely hammer my kids. Especially my oldest who was only 6 and 7 years old at the time. I forced her to do all her homework, as well as all her additional tutoring. Now I look back and cringe with guilt.
It took a traumatic event to shake me out of my zombie habits, and through that experience I discovered what was most important: physical health, loving relationships and the emotional wellbeing of my family. In my own process of self-discovery I learned to let go of trying to control my children’s academic destiny and, ironically, it’s given them a significant IQ advantage.
Since then I’ve refocused my energy on what really matters, and since then my children have flourished. They are doing better at school than they ever have; they are happier, more resilient and more emotionally mature. I knew in my heart I had found the key to my children’s happiness and future success, but it was only recently that I found the scientific proof behind all of this. And I want to share with you the strategy on how you can give your child this IQ advantage.
The research behind this strategy has found:
- Kids had higher reading and maths scores at age 8 than all the other kids, even when IQ was controlled for;
- These kids demonstrated self-regulation. They soothed and calmed themselves more quickly when they were upset and had better impulse control;
- They had fewer infectious illnesses (this is speculated because they could calm their heart rates more quickly. When heart rates remain high during stress the immune system is weakened);
- They could better focus their attention;
- They were better at delaying gratification. This ability, in other research, is related to higher SAT scores, better college performance, and better adult relationships.
- They were better at motivating themselves.
- They could cope better with life’s ups and downs.
- They required less discipline.
- They had healthier peer relationships.
(source: Emotion Coaching Parent Handbook, The Gottman Institute)
So what is this strategy that will give your child an IQ advantage? It’s called Emotion Coaching and it’s very straightforward. It doesn’t require homework, it doesn’t require text books, and it doesn’t require anyone else’s support and commitment. So it doesn’t even matter if your ex undermines you.
You can do it anywhere and anytime. Not only will it give your kids an IQ advantage, it will make your relationship with them a thousand times happier, healthier and more fulfilling. You will feel better, and they will feel more loved and more connected to you.
All you need to do is become more mindful of your child. Any time they are displaying stress, withdrawal, anger, sadness etc., use the opportunity to connect with them. Make it about them, not about you.
- Become aware of your child’s emotions.
- Use them as an opportunity for connection.
- Help your child verbally label their feelings (without judgment!)
- Communicate empathy and understanding.
- Set limits and problem solve.
This incredibly simple process serves to improve your child’s emotional health, and you only need to do it around 40% of the time. By following these steps your child will become more conscious of his/her feelings. As they develop this enhanced self-awareness they understand themselves better, which then gives them the ability to read and comprehend other people’s behaviours and emotions.
They become more skilled at remaining calm in stressful situations like exams, their mind remains open and engaged, they become unafraid to ask questions, they become more resourceful in finding answers.
In fact, this awesome emotion coaching formula works for adults as well as children. The hilarious happiness researcher, Shawn Anchor, stated in his TEDx Bloomington talk (watch it if you haven’t!) that if you increase a person’s level of positivity in the present, their dopamine levels rise which turns on all the learning centres in the brain. So you learn better, you have more energy and you are more creative when you feel good. He calls it the happiness advantage.
And guess what research conducted by the London School of Economics discovered to be the BIGGEST PREDICTOR of a successful life in adulthood? You guessed it, a child’s emotional health. In second position was a child’s conduct, and in LAST place, the least powerful predictor of success in adult life was the child’s intellectual development.
Amazing isn’t it? Yet schools continue to assess children on academic performance and conduct. They completely ignore the biggest, most important factor that contributes to success. It’s crazy!
Emotion coaching sounds too easy to be true. But the real truth is that most parents find this hard to do. Most parents can’t let go of pushing their child academically. Most are afraid that if they stop pushing, their child will fail.
And here’s another truth: if you have been subconsciously copying your own parent’s parenting habits or if you have a dysfunctional pattern of expressing of your own emotions: either exploding in anger or brushing your feelings under the carpet, it can make it difficult to emotion coach your child.
So yes there is a catch: to truly give your child this IQ advantage over others, you first need to know how to emotion coach yourself.
- You need to be aware of your own feelings.
- Use your emotions as an opportunity for connection, and this requires practice! To be able to express yourself without blaming others is a skill that has been virtually lost in modern society.
- You need to verbally identify your feelings.
- You need to problem solve your issues (without expecting other people’s behaviour to change).
When you can do this successfully, emotion coaching your child becomes much, much easier. You will see the relationship between you and your child blossom and they will actually WANT to do their homework, because it will be time spent with you. You will give them a huge IQ advantage AND you’re setting them up for a happier, more successful life. What more could you want? 🙂
My 100% Empowered Masterclass teaches people to shed habits of their past so they can connect authentically with themselves and have amazing relationships with others. If you want to help your child succeed but are struggling inside yourself, maybe it’s time to invest into yourself. The tools and strategies you will learn and new insights you will discover will empower you to change your life for the better, forever. Find out more here.