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The Heart of Parenting: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child Hardcover – February 3, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gottman, a University of Washington psychology professor and author of Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, has studied family dynamics for more than 20 years. His observations lead him to divide parents into two categories: those who do and those who don't use the technique he calls "emotion coaching." With writer DeClaire, he begins by noting the obvious: good parenting involves emotion as well as intellect; parenting style has lifelong consequences. Giving credit to the work of late psychologist Haim Ginott and getting a nod from Emotional Intelligence author Daniel Goleman (who provides an intro), Gottman defines the five steps of "emotion coaching": being aware of the child's emotions; recognizing the presence of emotion as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching; listening empathically and validating the child's feelings; helping the child to verbally label emotions; setting limits and problem-solving. He says that his studies demonstrate that children who are "emotion-coached" learn better, get along well with others and are physically healthier and socially better adapted than children who have not had such "coaching."Questionnaires with which parents can determine their style and measure their emotional awareness are included, as is a bibliography. For parents to whom emotional nurturing doesn't come easily, Gottman's approach offers reasons and methods for attending to one's child's emotional growth.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

We can raise our children so they're able to handle what life throws their way, argues research psychologist Gottman (Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, S. & S., 1994), and here he presents his five-step program of "emotion coaching." The program results from his studies ten years ago of 56 couples, which focused on how they dealt with their children's feelings about problems, losses, and heartaches and how the children fared as measured not psychologically but physiologically. Later, the couples (if they were still together), the children, and their teachers were revisited to determine the results. This complements the numerous good books on child rearing by focusing on the emotions, which until now have been given little attention. Highly recommended as readable and helpful.?John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Lib., New York
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 3, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684801302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684801308
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Trudi M. Rosenblum on March 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
"Emotional Intelligence" has recently been recognized as an important life skill. A combination of important traits (including self-discipline, ability to handle anger appropriately, self-esteem, empathy, and social skills), emotional intelligence allows one to handle life's frustrations and to "work and play well with others." These skills have been shown as more important than I.Q. as predictors of success in one's personal relationships and career. This wonderful book teaches parents how to raise their children to have emotional intelligence. The book sees children's problems and frustrations as opportunities for "emotion coaching" - helping them learn how to deal with their emotions. The book also identifies four "parenting styles" - two of these styles react negatively to chldren's negative emotions, one style accepts them but doesn't help the child deal with them, and the "Emotion Coaching" style accepts the emotions and teaches the child what to do with them. I wish my parents had had this book - I was a "difficult" child, prone to tantrums, etc., but much of my difficulty came from feeling frustrated and not knowing what to do about it. My parents were loving, but didn't really know how to handle the problem. This book will create greater understanding between parent and child, and will help the child grow up to be an emotionally healthy adult.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Andreas Fellner on July 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
You can find a lot of books about parenting, but many of them are just pop psychology, the solitary opinion of the author.
Gottman is definitely not one of them. He is known as one of the leading psychologists in the area of family and marriage psychology. This book presents the essence of his research findings about raising emotionally intelligent children.
His advise is surprisingly easy and is based on a 5 step model:
1. Be aware of your child's emotion
2. See your child's emotions as an opportunity to be close together
3. Actively listen to your child and validate the feelings
4. Help your child to verbalize his feelings
5. Help your child solve problems, while setting clear limits
Gottman clearly explains how you can implement this 5-step-model in daily life and what to do when problems arise. His real life examples make reading really fun.
All in all, an excellent parenting book! As a supplement, I can also recommend the book by M. Seligman: "The optimistic child"
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This audio book has opened my eyes to what children are really thinking and how to deal with them. I have tried the recommended ideas with my own daughter and it has worked wonders. It can be difficult at first, but with patience, these ideas will create a bond between you and your child that you may not have known could exist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Hitchens on October 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The Heart of Parenting.
John Gottman.

John Gottman takes up the mantle of Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence (EI) and applies it to a mainstream style parenting book The Heart of Parenting. The central tenant of the book is five steps to emotion coaching parenting style. This parenting style is compared to other parenting styles that come naturally to many parents, but do not foster an emotionally stable child. The result of emotion coaching parenting is the child’s ability to emotionally self regulate. Lacking Emotional regulation is the life skill lacking in young people often in trouble with the law. Gottman shows that research indicates emotional regulation as the key to success in later life, and a vital buffer against many mental health and behavioural difficulties.
Gottman makes emotion coaching simple with five steps, they are;
1. Being aware of the child’s emotions.
2. Recognizing the emotions as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching.
3. Listening empathetically and validating the child's feelings.
4. Helping the child verbally label emotions.
5. Setting limits while helping the child problem solve.
These steps are simple and Gottman spends only one chapter on them. The rest of the book fleshes out these concepts with examples and psychological research simply explained. Although The Heart of Parenting becomes repetitive at several points for those who are familiar with EI, Gottman writes in a way that is accessible to those who have no prior experience with this theory. Gottman also covers many concepts in developmental psychology such as attachment theory in a highly accessible way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. McGee on July 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book was recommended to my daughter to help with her ADHD child so I bought one for her and myself. What I have read so far has been good. I have encouraged her to read it. It will help a person understand a child with ADHD and help a person deal more positively with the child. It has been a refresher for me along with some new enlightenment. I would recommend this book.
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