EMOTION TRAINING – An effective way

How to teach a child to behave?

This has been the most discussed questions over the internet for quite some time now. And we see different approaches as a solution like, rewards for positive behavior, negative timeout and detentions, assertiveness etc.

However, all these techniques are based on the fact that behavior can be controlled and modified by reinforcing reward, punishments and rules. fear of punishment can lead to children relying on innate survival mechanisms such as disassociation or becoming reactive in an attempt to compensate.
Until now these techniques were considered as the best by Parents but now it’s time to think what if behavior is not meant to be controlled, by controlling the child’s behavior aren’t you trying to impose your own personality over him.
This is where EMOTION TRAINING comes into picture as a much more effective way to teach your child how to behave. This training emphasizes on emotional and social causes of difficult behavior and teach social and emotional skills.
Emotion training focuses on emotional regulation rather than changing the behavior. It considers actions as a form of communicating, differentiating between behavior and the emotion behind those actions It is about helping the child to understand their varying feelings as they experience them, why they occur, and how to handle them.
Empathy and Guidance are the two key elements of this technique. EMPATHY focuses on recognition of child’s emotions irrespective of how they behave. It also promotes self-awareness in your child. GUIDANCE being the more critical element of this technique helps a child in labelling certain emotions like Sad, Happy, Angry etc.
When we are trying to modify a particular behavior in a child, we either try to distract or dissuade him. We more than often ignore the fact that the child might be in an emotional state and that too may be an intense one, in such scenarios their mind and bodies are locked and they cannot communicate with the rational part of their brain. So first attempt should always be to bring the child from that intense emotional state to a regular and relaxed calm state so that the rational part of their becomes active. Once you have successfully empathized, then move on to propose solutions.
So next time when your child throws tantrums, or shouts or bangs his head against something try something new. Try to communicate with him on how is he feeling and why is he feeling that way. This will calm him down more quickly. You can then talk to him about the rules and good behavior.
Emotion training can be used for all ages – from babies to teenagers. It is a way of telling a child that they are supported, cared about, understood and respected.

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