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E.I. Part 12 | Teaching is Just Good Parenting


I have been blogging through Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence. In chapter 12, Goleman writes about the impact of parents on a child's emotional health and overall success.


He writes, “The basics of Emotional Intelligence is learning how to recognize, manage, and harness your feelings; empathizing, and handling the feelings that arise in relationships," and your ability to do so can be seen in how you parent your kids.


Emotional Intelligence can be even more of a predictor of long-term success than IQ, and much of a kid’s Emotional Intelligence is a result of parenting styles.


Goleman says the three most common emotionally inept parenting styles are:

  • Ignoring feelings altogether (treating your kid's emotions as trivial or a bother, or something that they should wait to blow over)

  • Being too laissez-faire (notice but don’t address emotions)

  • Being contemptuous, showing no respect for how the child feels (disapproving, harsh, and critical of their child’s emotions)

A fourth and more effective style is the parents who act as emotional coaches when their child is upset or triggered. Emotional coaches take their child’s feelings seriously enough to try to understand exactly what is upsetting them and help them find a positive way to soothe their feelings.


Dr. T. Battery Brazelton is a Harvard pediatrician. He says parents need to understand how their actions can help generate confidence, curiosity, pleasure in learning, and the understanding of limits that help children succeed in life.


A report from the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs makes the point that school success is not predicted by a child’s IQ as much as by their emotional and social measures: being self-assured and interested, knowing what kind of behavior is expected and how to rein in the impulse to misbehave, being able to wait, to follow directions, and to turn to teachers for help, and expressing needs while getting along with other children.


The reports list the following seven characteristics as the key ingredients for a child’s success in learning and school:


1 - Confidence - They believe they have what they need to be successful, including support from adults.

2 - Curiosity - The sense that finding out about things is positive and leads to pleasure.

3 - Intentionality - Focused and directed attention to a certain goal.

4 - Self-Control - The ability to control impulses.

5 - Relatedness - The ability to engage with others. 6 - Capacity to Communicate - The wish and ability to verbally exchange ideas, feelings, and concepts.

7 - Cooperativeness - The ability to balance one’s own needs with those of others.


Good coaching is good teaching.


Educational consultant, Rufus Lott, says, “Good teaching is just good parenting.” But what is good parenting? It starts with having Emotional Intelligence yourself and then being able to teach Emotional Intelligence to the people you are teaching and leading.


All of this can be applied to coaching, teaching, and leading. The 7 key ingredients for a child’s success in school are 7 key ingredients to being a good athlete and teammate. Our ability to communicate, teach, measure, correct, and reward these ingredients is key to our ability to effectively coach and grow our athletes.

Much of this information was taken from the introduction of Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence. You can find more about the book here: Emotional Intelligence


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