Emotional Intelligence

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?”   Having your teen enter the world of dating can cause anxiety for any parent. A dad’s instinct may be to think of ways to scare off his teen’s date, while a mom may want to grab binoculars and spy in the bushes. Though protecting your kids is important, open and nonjudgmental communication is the best tool to support your teen in making good dating decisions. With the right approach, parents have the power to help teens stick to their values, keep realistic expectations, and manage the highs and lows of dating.     So what can parents do to support teens as they date?     1. Focus on the purpose   Ask your teen what they believe the purpose of dating is. When teens go into dating with a clear understanding of its objective, they are more likely to make rational decisions and avoid negative situations. Remind them that dating is about developing their relationship skills as well as getting to know what they want and need in a partner. If they date simply to fit in or to fill their craving for intimacy, they will likely be disappointed.     2. Discuss what healthy looks like   When parents talk to teens about dating, they often focus on rules such as, “No being out past 10,” or, “no drinking and driving.” An additional priority should be to talk to your teen about what healthy relationships look like. Remind them of the characteristics of supportive and long-lasting relationships including:      Trust    Mutual understanding    Communication    Respect    Honesty    Faithfulness    Praise    Maintaining interests outside of one another     3. Help them recognize abuse    Teach your teen the warning signs of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse such as:    Isolating them from friends and family    Insulting, degrading, or intimidating them    Cheating    Showing intimate pictures or “sexts” to others    “Gas-lighting” (when an abuser gets called out for their abuse and turns it around on the other person to make them think they’re crazy)    Hitting, kicking, grabbing, pushing, or biting    Stalking or constantly monitoring them    Guilting or coercing into sex or other acts     4. Build up boundaries   Encourage your teen to determine the behaviors that they’ll refuse to accept in relationships. Remind them to explain their boundaries to their date in the beginning so that expectations are clear from the get-go. It can be helpful to define boundaries in the following categories:     Emotional  – Example: “If my date calls me insulting names, that is crossing my boundary.”   Physical  – Example: “If my date puts their hands on me in anger, that is crossing my boundary.”   Digital  – Example: “If my date asks me to Snapchat sexual photos, that is crossing my boundary.”    Moms – if you need help taking your own advice on healthy boundary-setting, check out our women’s guide to stop people-pleasing       5. Play it positive    Although you want to teach your teen the warning signs of unhealthy relationships, make sure you approach this milestone with a positive attitude. Don’t speak about it with dread or express disdain for their date; that will only drive your kid away from you. Tell your teen you’re excited for them to experience this new aspect of life and that you trust them to make the right choices. Show interest in learning more about their date and the good qualities your teen sees in them.      6. Rely on respect   When you’re talking to your teen about dating, make sure to keep a calm and respectful tone. If they feel you respect their individuality and opinions, they will be more likely to return the same respect to you. Even if you’re met with sighs and eye rolls, try to keep your cool and trust that your teen will hear what you have to say. Make sure to ask your teen’s point of view as well and listen with empathy and understanding.     For more tips on being an emotionally intelligent parent,    click here      7. Don’t steer away from sex   It may be tempting to avoid discussing sex with your teen, but remember that if you don’t give them the sex talk, their locker room buddies will. Regardless of your family values, don’t make your teen feel bad or abnormal for having natural sexual feelings. Express that these feelings are a normal part of maturing into an adult, but there are values that you expect them to adhere to. Think through your values and clearly explain them to your teen. It’s also important to talk to them about what others might do so they know ways to respond if they are met with unwanted advances.      8. Trust the job you’ve done   After you’ve said your piece, take off your private investigator hat and hang the binoculars back in the closet. You’ve spent more than a decade preparing your child for this milestone, teaching them right from wrong, empowering their self-esteem, and establishing boundaries for their behaviors. Trust that your lessons have prepared them to be resilient through the good and bad aspects of teen dating.      9. Know when to intervene    The ups and downs of dating can be incredibly positive in shaping your teen’s identity, building their emotional intelligence, and preparing them for adult relationships. However, it’s not uncommon for teens to enter unhealthy or abusive relationships. If you’re concerned that your teen is in a dangerous relationship, or if you’re just unsure how to talk with your teen about dating, our specialists can help.       
 
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   Center for Disease Control (2018). Understanding Teen Dating Violence. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/teen-dating-violence-2014-a.pdf  GoodTherapy.org. 9 Tips for Talking to Teens About Dating and Relationships. Retrieved from: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/9-tips-for-talking-to-teens-about-dating-and-relationships-0227157  Mayo Clinic (2017). Sex Education: Talking to Your Teens About Sex. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/in-depth/sex-education/art-20044034  Shinn. M.M. (2018). “Why Can’t I Say No?” The Women’s Guide to Stop People-Pleasing.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-womans-holiday-guide-to-stop-people-pleasing    Shinn. M.M. (2018). “Am I an Emotionally Intelligent Parent?” 6 Tips for Moms & Dads to Boost Their EQ.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/am-i-an-emotionally-intelligent-parent-6-tips-for-moms-dads-to-boost-their-eq    Whyte, A. (2018). Parents: How to Help Your Teen Set Healthy Dating Boundaries.  Evolve Treatment Centers . Retrieved online: https://evolvetreatment.com/blog/parents-how-to-help-your-teen-set-healthy-dating-boundaries/    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). “My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?”  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/my-teen-is-dating-what-do-i-do

“My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?”

“My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?!” Before you hire a private investigator and start stalking your teen’s every move, check out this week’s blog to support your teen through this exciting (yet slightly nerve-wracking) milestone.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “Is My Baby’s Emotional Intelligence On Track?”    Let’s face it, it’s tough trying to figure out how your baby is feeling. It’s not like your 2-month-old can calmly explain, “Mom, I really don’t appreciate when you wipe my tush with those freezing cold wipes. Please use the wipe warmer moving forward.” No, instead you’re met with flailing limbs and blood-curdling screams as you desperately try to figure out why your baby’s ticked off. Though you may feel like a deer in headlights deciphering your baby’s emotions, the way you support their emotional intelligence (EQ) during their first year sets the foundation for their lifelong emotional health.    So now that we’ve laid the pressure on thick, let’s dive into  how  you can support your baby’s EQ, even when you have no clue what they’re feeling.     1. Mark their emotional milestones   The first step in supporting your child’s emotional management is understanding how a baby’s EQ typically develops. The average milestone pattern is as follows:   0-3 Months  – They express whatever emotions they’re feeling in the moment without understanding them. All they know is they are either feeling pleasure or displeasure and when they are displeased, they make sure their parents know it!   Month 3  – Your baby will make eye contact, develop more facial expressions, and start to show pleasure by smiling. They may find ways to briefly soothe themselves such as closing their eyes or thumb sucking.    Month 4  – Their showing of emotions intensifies and they’ll begin to copy your facial expressions. They’ll also recognize when they’re having fun and may cry when playing stops.   Month 5  – They become increasingly assertive and begin to decipher between family members and strangers.    Month 6  – They tend to be a bit moodier; you may notice they are happy and clapping one minute and having a raging fit the next. Gotta keep you on your toes mom & dad!   Month 7  – At this point your baby realizes you aren’t attached to them - a revelation that gives birth to a new feeling: fear. This is often when separation anxiety kicks in. They also start to pick up on social referencing, or being able to understand how others feel by looking at their faces and gestures.    8-11 months  – Your baby is becoming more aware of others’ feelings and may feel guilt when they’ve done something wrong. Separation anxiety peaks during this time, but your baby will also begin to display independence as they learn to crawl and walk.    12 months – Toddlers feel an increased need to assert their independence which leads to, you guessed it, tantrums! Since their language development is increasing dramatically, this is a great time to teach your toddler to label their emotions.    2. Embrace their wiring    The development of your child’s EQ is based on 3 factors: their brain development, their life experiences, and their temperament. At around 6 months, your baby’s temperament will become increasingly apparent. If your child is more anxious, sensitive, or hot-tempered than you’d like them to be, it’s important that you learn to accept them for who they are and not try to force them to change. Instead, focus your efforts on teaching them ways to cope with strong emotions regardless of their temperament.    3. Have 1-sided convos   Just because your baby isn’t talking yet doesn’t mean they don’t gain a lot from listening to you. It’s never too early to start talking to your baby about feelings. Make it a habit to label your emotions during everyday life so that they become familiar with what each feeling is called.   Examples: (Baby cries when Grandma leaves). Mom: “I understand, you’re feeling sad that Grandma is leaving. I’m sad Grandma’s leaving too.”   4. Encourage Empathy   A key factor of emotional intelligence is not just understanding our own emotions, but being able to recognize the feelings of others. Model empathy by bringing up others’ feelings during daily interactions and play.   Example:  “Teddy bear is sitting all by himself. He must feel lonely. Let’s go play with him.”   Have older kids too?    Check out our blog on fostering EQ in children and teens     5. Troubleshoot tantrums   Pay attention to your child’s body language  before  they enter full meltdown mode – do they shake, turn red, or clench their fists? When you notice your child steering toward the tantrum-turnpike, intervene by giving a calming touch or offering a fun distraction. This will set the foundation for learning to calm themselves down before their feelings escalate and get out of hand.    6. Model good management   The best way to show your baby how to manage emotions is to demonstrate it yourself. Whether your feelings are positive or negative, make a point to show your child healthy ways to express them.   Examples:   “I am feeling frustrated right now so I am going to close my eyes and focus on my breathing for a minute.”   “I’m feeling so excited that Titi Marta is going to be here in five minutes! Let’s do a dance together until she gets here!”   Are you a high EQ parent?    Click here    to find out!    7. Identify EQ problems   While babies progress at different rates, it’s important to know when their behaviors may be pointing to developmental problems. If your baby exhibits any of the following symptoms, their emotional growth might not be on track for their age:      Frequent anxiety or anger    Sleep problems    Refusal to eat    Lethargy    Extreme fear of new situations     Lack of motivation to try new things       


   
     
      
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      8. See a specialist   Supporting a baby’s EQ is HARD! You can’t reason with them, they can’t tell you what’s wrong, and you’re often sleep-deprived and overwhelmed yourself. The good news is, you don’t need to do it alone. Our Specialists at Variations can support you in understanding your baby’s development, determining if they need additional support, and giving you tools to boost your child’s EQ through each stage of life.       
 
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   Alegre, A. (2011). Parenting Styles and Children’s Emotional Intelligence: What do We Know?  The Family Journal ,  19 (1), 56–62. https://doi.org/10.1177/1066480710387486  Baby Sparks (2017). The Evolution of Emotions (Part 1): Your Baby’s First Year. https://babysparks.com/2017/10/12/the-evolution-of-emotions-part-1-your-babys-first-year/  Brouzos, A., Misailidi, P., & Hadjimattheou, A. (2014). Associations Between Emotional Intelligence, Socio-Emotional Adjustment, and Academic Achievement in Childhood: The Influence of Age.  Canadian Journal of School Psychology ,  29 (2), 83–99. https://doi.org/10.1177/0829573514521976  Harvard University (2011). Children’s Emotional Development is Built into the Architecture of Their Brains. Center on the Developing Child.  National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.  Retrieved online: http://46y5eh11fhgw3ve3ytpwxt9r.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2004/04/Childrens-Emotional-Development-Is-Built-into-the-Architecture-of-Their-Brains.pdf  Shinn. M.M. (2018). “Am I an Emotionally Intelligent Parent?” 6 Tips for Moms and Dads to Boost their EQ.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/am-i-an-emotionally-intelligent-parent-6-tips-for-moms-dads-to-boost-their-eq  Shinn. M.M. (2018). 5 Tips for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/5-tips-for-raising-emotionally-intelligent-children    How to Cite this Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). “Is My Baby’s Emotional Intelligence On Track?”  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from :    https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/is-my-babys-emotional-intelligence-on-track    

“Is My Baby’s Emotional Intelligence On Track?”

It’s tough to know how to support your baby’s emotions when they can’t explain them to you. The good news is, there are ways to teach your baby healthy emotional management well before they’re walking or talking.

Check out this week’s blog to learn how!

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “My Kid is So Defiant! Is it My Fault?”     So your kid isn’t a perfect angel – they talk back, resent you, and push your buttons like you’re a high-rise elevator. You say yes, they say no – it’s like they feed on making you angry. As frustrating as it feels, all parents deal with their kids being defiant to some degree (hint: YouTube “epic tantrums” if you need a reminder that you aren’t alone!).   A certain level of defiance is expected as a child matures. However, some kids struggle with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) – a condition that causes them to develop a pattern of disobedient behaviors toward authority figures. Without support, ODD can harm a kid’s relationships, academic performance, and emotional health.   So how do parents know if their kid’s defiance is a harmless phase or a serious problem? Here are 11 questions to consider:    1. Why does my kid act this way?   Your kid’s defiant behaviors may be caused by their genetic makeup, environmental factors, or both. A child’s temperament has a lot to do with how their brain is wired, something you’ve probably witnessed if you have multiple kids with very different personalities. Kids can also develop defiant behaviors as a way to cope with trauma, abuse, or other negative life experiences. While genetics and bad experiences play a role, parenting does as well. Many loving parents unintentionally encourage defiance by disciplining in ways that are too permissive, too harsh, or inconsistent.      2. Is it my fault?   It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact influence of genetics, negative psychological experiences, and parenting on your child’s behavior, but nothing good will come from beating yourself up. Most parents struggle with responding to their child’s defiance and it’s never too late to discover new tools for strengthening your family. Take a minute to release any guilt that you’ve been carrying and know that you are a great parent for seeking new ways to connect with your kid.       3. Is my kid just a spoiled punk?   ODD is a bit of a controversial diagnosis. Some people believe that defiant kids are just being disrespectful little punks and need nothing more than a “good old-fashioned spanking.” Regardless of your perspective, understanding ODD’s symptoms can help you determine whether your kid’s behavior goes beyond what’s considered normal. If your child exhibits four or more of the following symptoms for 6+ months, they may fit the criteria for an ODD diagnosis:      Loses their temper    Argues with adults    Actively refuses to comply with rules or requests     Deliberately annoys people 4+ times a week    Blames others for their mistakes or misbehavior    Is touchy or easily annoyed by others 2+ times a week    Is angry and resentful 4+ times a week    Their behavior negatively impacts their social or academic functioning     An official diagnosis can only be made by a mental health specialist.       


   
     
      
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      4. Are my rules consistent?   Kids with defiance issues have a strong need to feel control over their environment.  Help them understand your expectations by setting clear rules and explaining the consequences of breaking them ahead of time. Keep your rules listed in a visible area of the house and be consistent in following through with consequences when rules are broken.     5. Do I rehash mistakes?   Your child is going to slip up along the way, but don’t define them by their worst moments. After enforcing the consequences that you’ve set, move on and don’t rehash old arguments or bring up past outbursts. Show your child that each day is a new chance to make better choices, and that you believe in their ability to do so.      6. Am I emotionally intelligent?   One of the best ways for you to support your child is to show them what   healthy emotional management        looks like. Parents can model emotional intelligence (EQ) by talking openly about their feelings, expressing empathy for their child’s emotions, and stepping away to focus on their breathing when they are feeling angry or overwhelmed.     Click here to for our top 5 tips on fostering EQ in your child     7. Can I “Keep calm and parent on”?   Try to use a calm and neutral tone when dealing with your child's behavior. That can be difficult when your kid is about to throw a tuna can across aisle 4 because he didn’t get his way, but calmly enforcing consequences will yield better results than losing your cool. Remember, a child with ODD often hopes to engage their parents in a battle of wills, so blowing up will only fuel their fire. Explain your position in as few words as possible and don’t continue to discuss it.    8. When do I give them attention?   Parents often give more attention to negative behaviors, so make an effort to point out when your child acts appropriately. Celebrate behavioral wins like your child staying in their seat at a restaurant or completing their homework calmly. Let your kid know that you appreciate their extra effort and incentivize them for good behavior with praise, small prizes, or fun family activities.    Click here for our dad’s guide on increasing positive behaviors in your child through play     9. Can I commit to staying structured?   It’s easier for children to regulate their emotions when they are rested, physically active, and well-nourished. Be intentional about scheduling at least an hour a day for your kid to engage in physical activity. Offer healthy meals and ensure adequate sleep by sticking to a nightly bedtime that allows them to get the recommended amount of sleep for their age.      Click here to view the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for adequate sleep    .     10. Can parenting programs help?   There are several programs that empower parents with tools to improve their child’s behaviors.    Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT )   and    PC-CARE    have shown success in reducing disruptive behaviors in kids with ODD. Your child’s school may also offer programs for students that focus on peer groups or antisocial behavior. If your school has a mental health professional, ask them if there are programs available that could benefit your child.     Check out our blog for teachers on increasing positive behaviors in the classroom      11. Should I seek support?   If your child has defiance issues, there is no reason for you to struggle alone. There are several tools a mental health specialist can offer to help you support your child in increasing positive behaviors and overcoming symptoms of ODD.      
 
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychology. (2009). ODD: A Guide for Families by the   American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Retrieved from https://www.aacap.org/App_Themes/AACAP/docs/resource_centers/odd/odd_resource_center_odd_guide.pdf  Hamilton SS, et al. Am Fam Physician. (2008). Oppositional Defiant Disorder  [Review Article]. Retrieved from   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/18841736/?i=3&from=/20431460/related  Mayo Clinic (2018). Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/oppositional-defiant-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20375831  McNeil, C.B. (2008). Parent-Child Interaction Therapy   Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pubs/videos/4310814.aspx?tab=2   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2019). My Kid is So Defiant! Is it My Fault?  Psychologically Speaking .   [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/my-kid-is-so-defiant-is-it-my-fault

“My Kid is So Defiant! Is it My Fault?”

Is your kid disobedient, resentful, and seems to blame you for everything? Do you wonder if your kid’s defiant behavior is just a phase or if you should be concerned that there’s a bigger problem? If so, this blog’s for you!

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “Am I an Emotionally Intelligent Parent?” 6 Tips for Moms & Dads to Boost their EQ   Emotional intelligence (EQ) refers to one’s ability to understand, process, and manage their emotions in healthy ways. We all want children who are emotionally intelligent – kids that don’t bite your arm when they can’t get their way, teens that don’t sulk in their room instead of talking to you, or adult children that don’t quit their jobs every time a co-worker offends them. But sometimes as parents we have to take a step back and evaluate our own EQ – are we quick to yell, hit, or say things we don’t mean when we feel upset? Are there emotions that we’re ashamed to talk to our kids about?    The truth is, the best way that you can support your child’s emotional intelligence is by building up your own. So how can parents strengthen their EQ?     1. Label your feelings   The first part of emotional intelligence is being able to acknowledge and accept your emotions. You’ll be a lot more effective in working through tough feelings if you understand what you’re dealing with. Take a few moments each day to think about what feelings you are experiencing, whether they are good, bad, or somewhere in between.      2. Don’t judge yourself   Parents often judge themselves for feeling stressed, depressed, or angry. However, difficult feelings can be an opportunity to teach emotional management. When you are feeling at your wit’s end, don’t beat yourself up over it. The way you handle troubling emotions can teach your children how to manage difficult feelings in healthy ways. Acknowledging your feelings without judgement shows your children that there are no emotions that are too shameful to talk about.   Example : “I’m feeling really anxious about work today. I am going to go for a jog to help me release some stress.”   3. Consider your kid’s perspective   You probably don’t remember the first time you got a brain freeze from a popsicle, but can you imagine the horror you must have felt not knowing what that paralyzing shock was? Now that you’re an adult, you know that brain freezes, though unpleasant, are not the end of the world. Big emotions, such as anger, jealousy, pain, and grief can feel like a “first brain freeze,” to children. So the next time you’re about to “cancel Christmas if they don’t stop screaming,” remember that things that don’t feel big to you often feel like a very big deal to them.      4. Express empathy   Whether your child is expressing joy, frustration, or anything in between, show them that you understand. An emotionally intelligent parent focuses more on discussing their child’s feelings rather than criticizing their behaviors.    Example of focusing on child’s behavior:   “Stop whining about how stressed you are – you were the one who wanted to sign up for both dance and soccer.”    Example of focusing on child’s feelings (emotionally intelligent):  “I get it. It can feel overwhelming to have a big game and recital in the same week. That would make me feel stressed too. Let’s think of some ways we can help you get through this.”    5. Prioritize quality time    Parents today are pulled a million directions with tons of distractions. Driving to different activities, working, and managing a household can really put a damper on family time. Make sure to set time aside each day to talk to your children about how they are feeling, and make sure to express your feelings as well. No tv, no phones, just time to check in to show them that you care and are there to talk to.      6. Easy on the impulse    As parents, we have no patience for other people cursing, scolding, or putting their hands on our children. Yet when our kids are driving us up a wall, we tend to let these rules slide for ourselves. Tighten the reigns on your impulses by walking away for a few minutes when you’re about to lose your cool. If you feel like you’re about to snap, close your eyes and focus on taking some slow, deep breaths before you respond. Practice mindfulness exercises such as meditation or yoga to reduce stress and keep your thinking in the present.      7. Cultivate compassion   There are lots of meaningful ways that you can foster compassion in your family. Volunteer together at a soup kitchen, share responsibility for taking care of a pet, and talk about how others might feel in difficult situations.     Example : “There’s a new woman at my work. I think she might feel a little nervous about starting a new job, so I’m going to invite her to lunch to make her feel welcome.”     For more tips on increasing your child’s EQ, check out our blog on raising emotionally intelligent children     8. See a Specialist   Parenting isn’t easy, and it can be tough to manage all of your family’s needs while taking care of your own emotional health. If stress or depression is making it difficult for you to strengthen your EQ, our specialists at Variations Psychology can help.      
 
	 CLick here to find a specialists that's right for you 
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   Eanes, R. (2017). Become an Emotionally Intelligent Parent.  Creative Child . Retrieved online: http://www.creativechild.com/articles/view/become-an-emotionally-intelligent-parent/1#page_title  Eldemire, A. (2016). 3 Do’s and Don’ts for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Kids.  The Gottman Relationship Blog.  The Gottman Institute. Retrieved online: https://www.gottman.com/blog/3-dos-donts-raising-emotionally-intelligent-kids/  Grose, Michael (2015). What it means to be an emotionally intelligent parent. Parentingideasclub.com.au    How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). Am I an Emotionally Intelligent Parent? 6 Tips for Moms & Dads to Boost their EQ.    Psychologically Speaking .  [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/am-i-an-emotionally-intelligent-parent-6-tips-for-moms-dads-to-boost-their-eq

“Am I an Emotionally Intelligent Parent?”
6 Tips for Moms & Dads to Boost their EQ

Even the most patient parents lost it every now and again – parenting is tough and we’re only human. But there are ways parents can boost their own emotional management. Check out this week’s blog for 8 tips on being an emotionally intelligent parent.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Should I Get My Kid Tested?   All parents want their children to learn in a fair and enriching environment, but that doesn’t look the same for every child. Students struggling with academic, social, or emotional challenges may require additional support to help them reach their potential. In most cases, however, students can only receive special accommodations if they’ve been tested for eligibility by a licensed specialist.  But all students face challenges in one way or another – how does a parent know if their child should see a specialist?   What Psychologists are testing for   There are a variety of issues that psychologists can identify and recommend accommodations for. Now is an ideal time to get your child tested, as it allows you to make any necessary arrangements for accommodations. Consider visiting a specialist if you think your child may be struggling with any of the following challenges:   1. Learning Disabilities   Throughout your child’s school day, they are asked to process information in a variety of ways. They see numbers, hear directions, and write down answers. Many children have difficulty processing information in one or more ways which can delay their learning and reduce their confidence. Common learning disabilities can impair a child’s ability to focus, read, write, spell, process sounds, interpret language, or understand math symbols. If you suspect your child may have a learning disability, getting them tested can qualify them for accommodations and/or modifications to help them work around their areas of difficulty.    Check out our blog on securing accommodations and modifications for your child on the SAT/ACT    Click below to listen to Dr. Marta Shinn’s podcast on understanding accommodations and modifications for SAT and ACT tests     

 
 
      2. Emotional Intelligence Issues   While intellectual intelligence is important, many studies suggest that emotional intelligence (EQ) may be even more important to a person’s success than their IQ. If your child has a hard time understanding or managing emotions, it can impact their grades, self-esteem, resiliency, and coping skills. Having your child’s emotional development evaluated can help you learn ways to increase their EQ and improve their academic and social experiences.    Check out our blog on 5 Tips for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children     3. Academic Giftedness   Like every child, intellectually gifted children need love, support, structure, and challenge to reach their potential. Unfortunately, the needs of gifted children can often get a bit neglected, especially when teachers are preoccupied with assisting struggling students. Testing for academic giftedness can help you become an informed advocate for your child. By learning about their abilities and development, you can work with the school to ensure they provide a stimulating environment for your child.   4. Autism Spectrum Disorder   Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological condition that can impact your child’s motor skills, sensory perception, language development, emotional health, and social life. Each of these areas have a significant impact on their academic performance and mental well-being. As its name suggests, autism displays itself in a variety of ways across a wide spectrum; if you suspect that your child may be showing signs, it’s  important that they be evaluated. Once a child is diagnosed with autism, there are many effective methods teachers can use to support their learning.   5. Anxiety Disorders   Anxiety can present itself in different ways – your child may have an irrational fear of hurricanes, worry excessively over tests, or avoid social situations at all costs. Whatever the cause of their worry, anxiety can impact their academic performance, physical health, and emotional well-being. Getting your child tested for anxiety can help you in working with your child’s school to understand their challenges and provide them with the emotional support they need to manage their symptoms in the classroom.      Check out our blog on how to STOP anxiety in its tracks     6. Trauma   While most parents try their best to protect their children from troubling experiences, it’s inevitable that children are sometimes exposed to traumatizing situations. If your child has gone through something traumatic, whether it be surviving a car accident, witnessing your recent divorce, or losing a loved one, they may need support in learning healthy ways to cope. Consulting with a specialist can help your child learn effective and healthy ways to overcome trauma and get back to focusing on school, friends, and fun.   Visit Variations    If you think your child might benefit from educational consulting or psychological evaluation, Variations can help. From testing, walking you through the IEP or 504, or advocating for your child on campus, Variations can support your family every step of the way.     Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D ., is an expert in child and educational psychology. She provides educational consulting to evaluate each child’s emotional and behavioral development and assess if there are other factors such as learning or attention differences that may impact their academic experience. Dr. Shinn works with parents and children to overcome obstacles and help children strive for their academic potential and emotional well-being.     
 
	  Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism, Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a   call   and we will guide you.  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References   Laura Thi Lam & Susan L. Kirby (2010) Is Emotional Intelligence an Advantage? An Exploration of the Impact of Emotional and General Intelligence on Individual Performance, The Journal of Social Psychology, 142:1, 133-143, DOI: 10.1080/00224540209603891  National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/panic-disorder-when-fear-overwhelms/index.shtml  Types of Learning Disabilities. Learning Disabilities Association of America Retrieved online https://ldaamerica.org/types-of-learning-disabilities/  https://www.crchealth.com/troubled-teenagers/autism-in-teenagers/   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). Should I Get My Kid Tested?   Psychologically Speaking .   [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/schools-out-should-i-get-my-kid-tested

Should I Get My Kid Tested?

All parents want their children to learn in a fair and enriching environment, but that doesn’t look the same for every child. Students struggling with academic, social, or emotional challenges may require additional support to help them reach their potential. In most cases, however, students can only receive special accommodations if they’ve been tested for eligibility by a licensed specialist.

But all students face challenges in one way or another – how does a parent know if their child should see a specialist?