Before I dive in, a little thing that’s been on my mind recently. I’ve noticed that when I have a question or am looking for a solution to an issue in my life, it helps to sit in on a coaching session where a coach is assisting another parent with a similar difficulty. I’m thinking about setting up an online space where we can all meet together and learn from each other, and I’ll mention that in this episode. Let me know what you think! Now, on to the main event:

I often refer to various levels of emotion using a name borrowed from a children’s game, “red light green light.” “Green light” is status quo, “red light” is the red zone (whether sadness and sulking or anger and rage), and there’s a broad swath of in-between emotions I call “yellow light.”

In this episode, I’ll talk about some strategies I employ which have helped my children and students get from “yellow light” back into “green light.” I’ll talk about ways in which my children help ME go from “yellow light” to “green light.” Most importantly, I’ll talk about how we can help our children perceive, understand, and manage their own emotions. Everybody has to start from zero, and if you weren’t taught these things, it’s extra hard for you because you’re trying to learn and teach at the same time. But I know you can do it, because I have done it, and we are much more alike than you think!

Modeling and explaining healthy responses to emotional stimuli is important, and even more important is normalizing feeling all kinds of emotions. Emotionally healthy children are not always happy. This aspect of parenting is mission-critical: your children need to know that they are allowed to feel all the feelings, and nothing has gone wrong. And don’t worry. With practice, you’ll get there. I’m getting there too. We’re all in this together!

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