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How to listen so kids will talk

A powerful way for parents to help children when they are experiencing a difficult emotion


What is ‘Emotion Coaching’?

Emotion coaching can also be known as ‘Reflective’ or ‘Active’ listening.  This is a way for parents to respond when a child is having an uncomfortable feeling.  It enables a child to recognise and articulate an emotion so they can move more quickly towards accepting  and problem solving.

What are the benefits of Emotion Coaching?

  • Shows a child you care about their feelings
  • Child feels heard and understood
  • Reduces misbehaviour
  • More ’emotionally intelligent’ – able to express and communicate feelings
  • Encourages problem solving
  • Enhances connection and relationship between parent and child

How do you do it?

  • Put your own thoughts, emotions and wishes to one side (the most tricky part!)
  • STOP what you are doing.  Stand back and observe your child
  • Imagine how your child may be feeling and reflect that back in words
  • Empathise with their resistance