Our recent guest, Joanne Light, Ed.D spoke directly to parents and grandparents listening to our show. She quoted from Marc Brackett’s book: Permission to Feel about Emotional Intelligence using the acronym: R.U.L.E.R.
- Recognize your emotions
- Understand your emotions
- Label your emotions
- Express your emotions
- Regulate your emotions
“EQ is as important as IQ.”Joanne Light
As a Parent Empowerment Coach, Joanne is an expert helping parents to cope during situations like COVID-19.
“There are so many places to feel stuck, and parents are dealing with many issues right now.”Joanne Light
Joanne’s own daughter struggled in her 20’s with a personality disorder and anxiety. In what felt like a hopeless search, Joanne found a woman running groups for parents of children struggling in the way her daughter was. In this group she found no judgement, but instead, acceptance, support, and help.
Joanne learned when she as a parent received help, she was able to help her daughter. She discovered her niche as a Career and Life Coach – empower struggling parents.
“Parents benefit by finding advocates for their personal support, which provides the skills to help their children.”Joanne Light
Joanne spoke about “complex kids” who are challenged with maladies such as ADD, depression, eating disorders, cutting behaviors, and anxiety. It is alarming that 25% of young people between 10-25 have thoughts of taking their own life. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death in this age group.
“ALL kids are having issues, and the pandemic has only made it more obvious.”Joanne Light
Having Joanne as a Parent Empowerment Coach is a process of exploration. Parents learn to rely on their own abilities with guidance to make goals, follow through with them, and achieve them with intention. It is nice to have someone to be accountable to.
To all parents, Joanne recommends the following areas to focus on:
Resiliency: Parenting is an inside out process. Examine your own values, live them, and your children will reflect those values back to you. Resiliency is a coping skill children learn by example; it is the ability to get back up when they fall down or fall behind.
“Dig in and dig deep to become the best parent you can.”Joanne Light
Connection is the key to effective parenting. Parents should react, but not overreact. Nothing will build a wall between child and parent faster than reacting without first understanding. Parents should give themselves permission to back off in the heat of the moment, empathize, and revisit the problem when emotions have cooled off.
Make time together enjoyable for all family members. Studies prove families who have dinner together result in children who are more successful academically, live cultural values, are less worried about challenges, and feel grounded in the family unit. Actions like these develop and increase Emotional Intelligence (EQ).
Structure: Joanne highly recommends FAMILY MEETINGS once a week, or every other week. Schedule regularly and allow each family member to take turns leading the meeting. Choose a topic for each meeting and set ground rules early. Kindness rules.
Family meetings provide a “check in” with each family member. It is a time to confirm chore assignments, share feelings, compare schedules, and for expression without judgement. Make sure to have an activity after the meeting – games, dessert, a movie, etc.
“It sounds cheesy, but it helps! Many life coaches preach family meetings. It’s a time to set boundaries and responsibilities as a calm, caring, nurturing parent.”Joanne Light
Self-Care: all parents should make this a priority. Every day, each parent should do something strictly for themselves whether 5 minutes or 30 minutes.
- Have a cup of coffee…alone
- Call a friend
- Journal, sharing positive thoughts and gratitude (count your blessings)
- Sip a glass of wine
- Take a nap
- Listen to music that lifts your spirit
- Eat a healthy snack
“Self-care is critical. When parents cope well, kids will as well. Self-care is not selfish; it is not indulgent. It’s critical.”Joanne Light
If you are feeling overwhelmed and out of control with your own emotions – chances are your children are experiencing the same. Seek out support like Joanne did. In fact – contact Joanne. Care for yourself to better care for those you love in an emotionally intelligent way.