Tuning Into Kids - parenting for emotional intelligence

What is Tuning Into Kids?

This is a parent education course designed by Dr Sophie Havighurst and Ann Harley, trialled and evaluated through Mindful at the University of Melbourne. Tuning Into Kids will show you ideas and techniques to help you teach your child the skills of emotional intelligence. It is not a replacement for therapy or counselling but it may give you increased confidence in dealing with the normal challenges of parenting children. Tuning Into Kids is focused on teaching you how to support your child’s healthy emotional development, and as a result, you may find gradual improvements in your child’s behaviour and in your communication with your child. Some of the skills taught include:

  • Better communication with children
  • Better understanding of your child’s emotions
  • Helping your child manage/regulate their emotions
  • Reducing normal behaviour problems in your child
  • Helping your child deal with conflict

Research has shown that if your children have strong emotional intelligence skills, they are more likely to:

  • have success with making friendships and be better able to manage conflict with peers
  • have better concentration, and more able to fulfil their academic potential
  • be able to soothe themselves when they are upset or angry
  • have fewer childhood illnesses because of lower levels of stress
  • have more stable and satisfying relationships as adults
  • have more career success as an adult

Evaluation of the Tuning Into Kids parenting course by researchers has indicated that children of parents participating in the course experienced significant reductions in children’s behaviour problems, and were more competent at using and exploring emotions with their children. Children of those parents also knew more about what they could do to regulate their emotions and successfully address difficult situations.

The course was found to be especially effective in helping parent children with behaviour or anxiety problems.

Who is this Parenting Course Suitable For?

The ideas and techniques taught in the parent education program are useful for parents of children of all ages, but are especially suited to parents of preschoolers and young primary school children.

Note:This is a parenting program and is not a replacement for professional therapy for you or your child. You will learn helpful parenting skills in this workshop which, if applied, are likely to improve your child's understanding and ability to be aware of, regulate and express their emotions. However, if you have serious concerns about your child's emotional wellbeing or your own, you may wish to seek out counselling for your child and/or yourself.

"Tuning Into Kids" is run in Eltham through Nillumbik Community Health Centre. The next group starts on August 13, 2013. For more information or to enrol call 9431 9100, or go to http://www.nillumbikhealth.org.au/group/tuning-in-to-kids/

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