Emotional Intelligence

One of my biggest challenges has been how to properly interact with the emotions of a child. Luckily, Baba had heard of a book that could help!

When we were in Portland for the first time, we went to the wonderful Powell’s Books and bought Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child – The Heart of Parenting.

The book itself was written almost 22 years ago, however the content is still highly relevant today. 

The book contains several tests to give yourself which help you to better understand your parenting style. Next is learning how a few broad parenting styles function and how you specifically intersect with those to form your own current parenting style.  The book then spends the majority of content describing the optimal parenting style of emotion coaching. 

When I first started reading about emotion coaching, I thought that I was already mostly in that parenting style. I quickly figured out how wrong I was!  After reading even a small portion of the book and how to apply the skills in real world interactions, I was able to see real results. 

An example would be if Kaili became upset such as if we were not listening to her while she was talking. She may be crying, and the old me may have said something about not needing to cry and that I’m listening now. While it’s true that I would then be listening, that response negates her feelings and is not helpful for future occurrences. 

A better response which fits into the emotion coaching parenting style would be to walk over to Kaili and crouch down to her level. Then ask her if we can breathe to calm down some so we can talk about what happened. This simple act also allows me to keep my own emotions in check while simultaneously helping her to see that I’m with her while she comes down. After we have calmed down, I would ask if we can ‘talk about it.’  We would then restate what happened and label the emotions she had felt. At the same time, we would acknowledge her emotions as valid while providing alternative ways we can deal with similar situations in the future. 

Although the above example requires a little more time than the former example, we were able to label emotions that previously were not tangible and also able to quickly workshop positive solutions for similar future experiences. This helps Kaili to grow emotionally in a wonderful way. 

In closing, I have learned a great deal from this book. I have tried to apply the skills to interactions with a variety of social interactions even beyond the parent-child dynamic. I highly recommend this book and feel it can help others in the same way it has helped me. 

Love as always, Daddy

Catching up

I realize it has been a substantial amount of time since an update has been posted here! A great number of things have changed since November, 2017.

In the time which has passed, we have moved due to a job change and have now been on the West coast for over two years.

You’re now almost 3 1/2 years old. It’s amazing how the time has gone past so quickly, and yet it’s easy to look back and remember all of the big moments.

You’ve had your first steps, your first day at a daycare away from home, and meeting new friends at school and in the neighborhood. Recently we’ve started to learn how to read and getting excited at learning what the words look like for some of our favorite things (such as CAT)!

Baba and I love you greatly and enjoy seeing our happy and thoughtful girl growing into a great young lady!

While this post is short tonight, I wanted to be sure to get a note out regardless.

As we say to each other at night:

I love you Kaili!

I love you too!

10 months in

Kaili Month 9

Today, Kaili is 10th months old!  Click the photo above for a mini album of photos from about the past month of Kaili, Baba, and Dada!

The past few months have been a whirlwind for sure.  Kaili, you’ve really sprouted up especially once you neared 9 months of age.  You were doing an awesome and quick army crawl, but just before 9 months of age you very quickly figure out how to properly crawl.  Ever since then you’ve only gotten better at it and moving ever faster.  In the past few weeks you’ve even started to go up to objects and pull yourself up.  Even more recently you started to sit on your legs and keep yourself upright, then go back into a crawl to move around.

At least a few times a week we play on the piano.  You really enjoy when I play the melody for Old MacDonald, one of the few things I know how to play!  I’m slowly trying to learn some piano basics while you play with the keys in front of me.  Fun times with Daddy!

Baba likes nap time with you and reading you books.  It’s especially cute when you both cuddle in bed for a short nap together!

You usually sleep pretty good through the night although you do need a snack at times.  You’re still drinking a lot of formula, but Grandma Xu feeds you rice with shredded chicken and you also get some other good foods.  Yesterday you even had some macaroni and cheese that I made.  There’s nothing like Kraft box mac and cheese – and that may be a good thing!

You haven’t gotten any teeth yet, but that will probably be coming up soon enough.  You’re also becoming quite the babbler with real words not far off!

It’s hard to believe you’re already 10 months old, Kaili!  It’s fun seeing you grow up and being together with you and Baba – the world is ready for us all to explore together!