Wednesday Workshop Will Help Parents Teach Children “Emotional Intelligence” Skills

Published : Tuesday, March 20, 2018 | 5:10 AM

Workshop Will Help Parents Teach Children “Emotional Intelligence” Skills

Altadena’s Stratford School will host a Wednesday morning workshop led by parenting expert and psychologist Dr. Vicki Chiang that will give parents a crash course in teaching their children about emotional intelligence and provide helpful tools designed to set up the younger generation with tools for success and resilience in adulthood.

The workshop focuses on topics of emotion regulation, stress management, and communication skills, which Chiang says can be easily learned and adopted and can benefit daily life in the long term.

“Life is filled with a lot of stressors and the earlier they have the capacity to reach out for help, understand what’s going on, and maybe cope with and learn a coping tool around it, the better off they’re going to be in life when they get older and the stress has become bigger and more challenging,” said parenting expert and psychologist Dr. Vicki Chiang.

“I know that Stratford School is interested and they’re committed to helping their kids and their school community learn more about this,” added Chiang.

Chiang’s immersive workshop consists of a thorough powerpoint presentation and one-on-one demonstrations with parents who are seeking new ways to communicate with their children early on about how to properly navigate high emotion events and cycles.

The term dubbed “Emotional IQ”, is the concept psychologists use to describe the process of understanding your emotions and the emotions of others, simultaneously, according to Chiang.

“It’s sort of two-fold and you have to be able to do one and the other,” said Chiang.

The concept first surfaced in the mainstream of psychology studies as far back as 1995 after science journalist Daniel Goleman authored the New York Times Best Seller, “Emotional Intelligence”.

Goleman’s book takes a position which argues emotional intelligence is a skill that can be taught and cultivated in anyone’s life and it even outlines methods for incorporating emotional skills training in conjunction with the school curriculum, according to an article in the New York Times.

“I would say I’ve seen in the past five years or so a growing trend towards starting to focus much more on the emotional world of kids than the academic,” said Chiang. “Now we’re seeing more and more how much kids really struggle in the world of emotions and actually when we have a better management of them and when asked us as parents help them with that, we can see success in their other areas domain.

These domains include friendships, academics, and overall school performance.

“They’re really sort of tightly connected and I would say sometimes I think our emphasis in the area of emotion should be a little bit more focused on than the academic. You can’t really learn if you’re sort of feeling angry or sad or anxious about anything,” said Chiang.

Educating children at an early age about social-emotional awareness is the knowledge that Chiang says will benefit individuals throughout their lifetime.

“One of the things I really try to highlight is that it can mean more success for children later on. What I always say to parents is, ‘if you do them, the higher the chances the child does them. So it’s really the whole family adopting ways to better manage their emotions’,” said Chiang.

Like Goleman’s emotional skills training outline, Chiang’s workshop will present specific guidelines and instructions for parents.

“There are all types of other strategies such as breathing tools and ways to calm our own feeling when we start to feel and recognize ourselves getting a rise in emotion,” said Chiang.

“The part of the workshop that I love to talk about most is walking through a wave of a big emotion and strategies to help parents. So they’re going to walk away with tips and tools on how to best manage when their child gets really emotionally dysregulated and how all of that really is helping your child build better social-emotional scope,” Chiang added.

According to Chiang, understanding the concept mindfulness been shown to see as one of the most effective ways we can manage “big emotions”, or moments of high emotional stress brought on by an event or other factors.

“Everybody copes in different kinds of ways. We want to make sure that as an adult, in our own job, in our own families, we have those tools of communication, management of big feelings, and being able to be regulated when our emotions do get really big,” said Chiang.

Join parenting expert and psychologist Dr. Vicki Chiang at the workshop, “Inside Out Parent Workshop: Fostering Emotional IQ in Your Child” on Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Stratford School Altadena located at 2046 Allen Ave in Altadena.

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