Aspire Magazine: Inspiration for a Woman's Soul.(TM) Dec/Jan 2019 Aspire Magazine Final - Page 71

So, what does that really mean? It means that as a parent you are responsible not only for making sure your child changes her clothes but also for her learning how to change her mind, see the positive, slow down, and express her emotions constructively. It’s really an enormous task, which is why I’m a huge proponent of social and emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom; research shows that it is children’s emotional intelligence that helps them succeed in life. Kate, a mother of two girls, contacted me about her eight-year-old daughter’s choices. Marisa knows the family rule that at 7:00 am the TV in her room must go off, which leaves her thirty minutes before they need to leave for school. Yesterday Marisa’s dad, Mike, turned off the TV at 7:05 am, and Marisa turned it back on again. Mike wasn’t having this, and said, “This is not happening. You must turn the TV off and get ready for school. I’m not going to be late today.” Marisa instantly went into tears and screaming. She yelled at her dad, “You hate me” and “I hate you.” The tears and screaming persisted for fifteen minutes. Kate tried to help her calm down, but Marisa was already emotionally hijacked and hadn’t yet learned to create enough space between stimulus (anger) and response (tears, screaming, mean words) to make a different choice. Since life is simply a sum of our choices, the earlier we teach our children how to make smart choices, which integrate the whole brain (right and left hemispheres), the more positive their life trajectory becomes. The emotionally healthy child is learning how to make choices that are good for him or her and good for others, which I call smart choices. Since life is simply a sum of our choices, the earlier we teach our children how to make smart choices, which integrate the whole brain (right and left hemispheres), the more positive their life trajectory becomes. At this point we couldn’t change how Marisa had already responded, but she can learn how to make smarter choices with her big feelings in the future, which includes: • paying attention (catching the feeling when it’s small) • pressing pause • responding versus reacting Children like Marisa can learn how to pay attention to their feelings and stop before 71