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Authors: JOHN GOTTMAN

Tags: #Family & Relationships, #Parenting, #General, #Psychology, #Developmental, #Child, #Child Rearing, #Child Development

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

BOOK: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
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A
LSO BY
J
OHN
G
OTTMAN

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail
(with Nan Silver)

S
IMON
& S
CHUSTER
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APERBACKS
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OCKEFELLER
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ENTER
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VENUE OF THE
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MERICAS
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EW
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ORK
, NY 10020
www.SimonandSchuster.com

C
OPYRIGHT
© 1997
BY
J
OHN
G
OTTMAN

A
LL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THE RIGHT OF REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART IN ANY FORM
.

P
REVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AS
The Heart of Parenting
.

S
IMON
& S
CHUSTER
P
APERBACKS AND COLOPHON ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF
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IMON
& S
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, I
NC
.

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OR
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NFORMATION ABOUT SPECIAL DISCOUNTS FOR BULK PURCHASES, PLEASE CONTACT
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.

D
ESIGNED BY
B
ARBARA
M. B
ACHMAN

M
ANUFACTURED IN THE
U
NITED
S
TATES OF
A
MERICA

20 19 18 17 16

T
HE
L
IBRARY OF
C
ONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE HARDCOVER EDITION AS FOLLOWS
: G
OTTMAN
, J
OHN
M
ORDECHAI
.

T
HE HEART OF PARENTING : HOW TO RAISE AN EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT CHILD / JOHN GOTTMAN WITH JOAN
D
E
C
LAIRE
.

P. CM
.

I
NCLUDES
B
IBLIOGRAPHICAL
R
EFERENCES
.

1. E
MOTIONS IN CHILDREN
. 2. E
MOTIONS IN ADOLESCENCE
. 3. C
HILD REARING
. 4. P
ARENTING
. I. D
E
C
LAIRE
, J
OAN
. II. T
ITLE
.

BF723.E6G67 1997

649’. 1—
DC
20                          96-38947

ISBN-13:978-0-684-80130-8

ISBN-10: 0-684-80130-2

eISBN-13: 978-1-4391-2616-5

ISBN-13:978-0-684-83865-6 (PBK)

ISBN-10: 0-684-83865-6 (PBK)

A
CKNOWLEDGMENTS

T
HE IDEA FOR THIS RESEARCH ON “META-EMOTION” WAS
conceived in 1984 when John Gottman was on leave, visiting Robert Levenson in Paul Ekman’s laboratory in San Francisco. The research could not have progressed without the support of Robert Levenson, who built Gottman’s first psychophysiology laboratory. This was the first study we did in that lab. The research has also received a great deal of support from Dr. Michael Guralnick, director of the Center for Human Developmental Disabilities (CHDD), and CHDD’s core facilities, particularly the Instrument Development Laboratory at the University of Washington. The research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health research grants MH42484, titled “Marital discord, parenting, and child emotional development,” MH35997, titled “Friendship formation among children,” an NIMH Merit Award to extend research in time, and Research Scientist Award K2MH00257 awarded to John Gottman. Gottman wishes to acknowledge the great love, help, and intellectual companionship of his wife, Julie Schwartz Gottman, who coleads parent training groups at their Seattle Marital and Family Institute and who has been a true partner in parenting. Gottman also wishes to acknowledge the great love, patience, and teaching skill of his daughter, Moriah. Thanks to Mark Malone for his comments as a careful reader and devoted dad. Thanks also to writer Sondra Kornblatt for her insightful feedback on our manuscript.

To the work and memory of Dr. Haim Ginott

C
ONTENTS

F
OREWORD, BY
D
ANIEL
G
OLEMAN
P
REFACE
1.
Emotion Coaching: The Key to Raising Emotionally Intelligent Kids
2.
Assessing Your Parenting Style
3.
The Five Key Steps for Emotion Coaching
4.
Emotion-Coaching Strategies
5.
Marriage, Divorce, and Your Child’s Emotional Health
6.
The Father’s Crucial Role
7.
Emotion Coaching as Your Child Grows
A
PPENDIX
: R
ECOMMENDED
C
HILDREN’S
B
OOKS
N
OTES
I
NDEX

RAISING AN EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT CHILD

F
OREWORD

T
HESE ARE HARD TIMES FOR CHILDREN, AND SO FOR PARENTS
. There has been a sea change in the nature of childhood over the last decade or two, one that makes it harder for children to learn the basic lessons of the human heart and one that ups the ante for parents who used to pass these lessons on to the children they love. Parents have to be smarter about teaching their children basic emotional and social lessons. In this practical guide for good parenting, John Gottman shows how.

The need may never have been more pressing. Consider the statistics. Over the last few decades the number of homicides among teenagers has quadrupled, the number of suicides has tripled, forcible rapes doubled. Beneath headline-grabbing statistics like these lies a more general emotional malaise. A nationwide random sample of more than two thousand American children, rated by their parents and teachers—first in the mid-1970s and then in the late 1980s—found a long-term trend for children, on average, to be dropping in basic emotional and social skills. On average, they become more nervous and irritable, more sulky and moody, more depressed and lonely, more impulsive and disobedient—they have gone down on more than forty indicators.

Behind this deterioration lie larger forces. For one, the new economic realities mean parents have to work harder than earlier generations to support their families—which means that most parents have less free time to spend with their children than their own parents had to spend with them. More and more families live far from relatives, often in neighborhoods where parents of young children are afraid to let them play on the streets, let alone visit a neighbor’s
house. And more and more hours in children’s lives are spent staring at a video screen—whether watching TV or looking at a computer monitor—which means they are not out playing with other children.

But in the long spread of human history, the way children have learned basic emotional and social skills has been from their parents and relatives, from neighbors, from the rough-and-tumble of play with other children.

The consequences of failing to learn the basics of emotional intelligence are increasingly dire. Evidence suggests, for example, that girls who fail to learn to distinguish between feelings like anxiety and hunger are most at risk for eating disorders, while those who have trouble controlling impulses in the early years are more likely to get pregnant by the end of their teen years. For boys, impulsivity in the early years may augur a heightened risk of delinquency or violence. And for all children, an inability to handle anxiety and depression increases the likelihood of later abusing drugs or alcohol.

Given these new realities, parents need to make the best use of the golden moments they have with their children, taking a purposeful and active role in coaching their children in key human skills like understanding and handling troubling feelings, controlling impulse, and empathy. In
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
, John Gottman offers a scientifically grounded, eminently practical way for parents to give their children an essential tool kit for life.

—Daniel Goleman, author of
Emotional Intelligence

P
REFACE

B
EFORE
I
BECAME A FATHER
, I
HAD SPENT NEARLY TWENTY
years working in the field of developmental psychology, studying the emotional lives of children. But it was not until our daughter, Moriah, arrived in 1990 that I began truly to understand the realities of the parent-child relationship.

Like so many parents, I could not have imagined the intensity of feeling I would have for my child. I had no idea how thrilled I would be when she first learned to smile, to talk, to read a book. I did not anticipate how much patience and attention she would require from me minute by minute. Nor did I know how willing I would be to give her all the attention she needed. On the other hand, I was surprised at how frustrated, disappointed, and vulnerable I could sometimes feel. Frustrated when she and I couldn’t communicate. Disappointed when she misbehaved. Vulnerable when I had to acknowledge how dangerous the world could be; how losing her would mean losing everything.

BOOK: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
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