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Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  4,092 ratings  ·  469 reviews
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child is John Gottman’s groundbreaking guide to teaching children to understand and regulate their emotional world.

Intelligence That Comes from the Heart

Every parent knows the importance of equipping children with the intellectual skills they need to succeed in school and life. But children also need to master their emotions. Raising an E
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 12th 1998 by Simon Schuster (first published January 1st 1997)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  4,092 ratings  ·  469 reviews

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Jan 19, 2013 rated it liked it
John Gottman should feel sad for two reasons: (1) he buries astute analysis and fabulously practical advice (of which he is rightfully proud) inside a tomb of, frankly, boring writing and poor organization, and (2) he writes for a cripplingly heterogeneous audience. For a mother who already embraces her own emotions and honors them in her children, reading “Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child” feels like a socialite perusing a manual of polite social interaction written for the autistic. I ...more
Jason Moss
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A must read for every dad. Positively changes your perspective on parenting.
Feb 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
Every parent should read this book. Parents of toddlers, parents of teenagers. There are so many things in this book that can help parents build trusting, communicative relationships with their children, and establish methods to help a child become "emotionally intelligent." The beginning of the book talks about how the emotional intelligence of a child is a far greater predictor of success (school performance, education, career opportunities, better peer relationships) in life than a child's me ...more
Jul 19, 2011 rated it liked it
This book started off with the premise that parenting is so important YOU MIGHT MESS UP YOUR KIDS IF YOU DO IT WRONG which dropped it to a three star book right away. Other than that I did pick it up and put it down over the course of six weeks, continuing to come back to it as it gave me lots of food for thought.

In the big picture Gottman is advocating "Emotion Coaching" which broken down to five steps is: 1.) Being aware of the child's emotions 2.)Recognizing the emotion as an opportunity for
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, family
I thought this book was very helpful in terms of things not to do (shaming, escalating, etc. etc.), but that the advice for what TO do was a bit naive (the fatal flaw of many parenting books): just use words and say it the right way and your preschooler will totally be rational! Yay! Yeah right, lol.

It was also pretty 90s dated--lots of stuff in here about saving kids from the rising danger of becoming criminals and hysterics about the ever rising rate of divorce and how it will surely turn all
Sep 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
yes, i read parenting books. i'm a nanny and an overachiever. this one is excellent. even if you never hang out with kids, i think that at a certain age, we all realize that we need to be a good parent to ourselves - creating nurturing and discipline in our daily lives. so this book gave me tools to understand the underlying philosophy of my own parents, the way its affected my own style, and tools for changing it. Plus, it has helped immensely with taking care of a two and four year old. ...more
Mar 12, 2011 rated it liked it
I think this book would be really good for parents who aren't sure what emotions are acceptable and how to handle their own emotions in relation to their childs' emotions- clear as mud. What I mean is, if you are ok with your child getting angry, upset, frustrated then you probably know most of what's in this book. But if you aren't ok with yourself feelings these emotions, let alone a child, then you should read it to get on board. Kids are going to have emotions, for crying out loud, adults do ...more
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
You can sum up the five main points in this book in just one chapter but I did appreciate the supporting chapters. There is a lot of really good scientific research in this book, which I always appreciate. I recently ditched a parenting book because its main supporting text was the bible. :|

This author is a psychotherapist who emphasizes empathy as the main way to relate to children. He talks about how damaging it can be to minimize their stress and the lasting effects of doing so, which can tea
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Standing ovation

I can already tell that this is a book that I will come back to many times, I'll probably read it once a year to refresh. My mind is still reeling from all the literal wisdom I just inhaled.

If you have kids or want to eventually, this is a must-read.
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read like 35 parenting books in the last 6 years. I thought I'd just skim this one. NOPE! It's a must read.

I'm a big fan of Gottman's marriage books and studies, and found his parenting advice no less compelling. When it comes to dealing with kids' emotions, he describes 4 types of parents:
-Dismissing: Emotions are uncomfortable; quickly tries to move past emotions or distract the kid)
-Disapproving: emotions are wrong/dangerous. "Don't you raise your voice at me! Go to your room!")
Lance Agena
May 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
There are many parenting books out there that are as controversial as they are popular. You use what you find helpful and ignore what doesn't fit in with your own personal parenting philosophy. I found most of Goleman's techniques in this book to be insightful and invaluable.

Too often, we may find ourselves giving in to venting our anger or frustration at our children for our own emotional benefit, forgetting that they are not adept at reading their own feelings much less yours. It is too easy
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book has started to significantly change my parenting style. With each chapter I noticed that I was starting to soak in the ideas and principles of emotional awareness. I decided not to read it too quickly after I began noticing how it was influencing my sensitivity. I took the time to really think about experiences and situations in the past where I could have applied what Gottman was teaching. This approach required a significant amount of pondering and evaluation. I expect that I will re ...more
Feb 20, 2013 rated it liked it
It's fine. Not earth-shattering or anything, but practical, substantial, and solidly supported. I had a previous love for Gottman from his marriage studies/books.

I don't really think it's necessary to memorize the emotion coaching steps or anything, since a lot of it just strikes me as common sense and practice, and once you embrace the role of emotion-coaching, you'll find your own ways to communicate with your particular kid in the way that works best for y'all. (But the specific steps might
Laura Hungerford
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book takes me back to my college parenting and family studies classes. I feel like its a solid book that teaches you first, to figure out what type of parent you are and second, recognize how you as a parent respond to your child's emotions. It's not a parenting book with lots of tips and there's nothing earth shattering, but it reinforces 5 simple principles which are basically this:

1. beware of the child's emotion
2. prepare yourself for a parenting moment
3. listen to your kid. make them f
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great framework and there are many helpful suggestions. Some of the suggestions are completely unrealistic. For example, in an ideal world we would all rearrange ours and our children’s schedules to validate their wishes and concerns so they don’t feel hurried or stressed. But that is not the case for the vast majority of people. I do like his approach about not focusing on the outcome or the behavior and trying to determine what emotions drove the child to act or behave the way she di ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
A very interesting book about a different side of education of the children. It`s something different from what post soviet union people get used to use from day to day.

Also, some part of the suggestions could be applied to work as a manager: how to read people, how to listen to them in right way, how to find out the "real" reason of the angry state or so.
Dec 01, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: marriage-family
This book had good ideas, but I felt it was redundant; it could have made the point with half the words. I also feel it was mostly geared to those with small children.
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Do recommend to parents. Great advice on being an emotionally intelligent parent, and good marriage advice is doled out along the way.
J L McCoy
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book, and should be read by every parent. Even those of us who already make an effort to honor our children's feelings will find this helpful. It is short and to the point. I've read a few reviews that thought it could be boiled down to a few points, and while that is true, I appreciate how the author introduces the key ideas, and then expands and reinforces them in different ways and situations. This is essentially a book that is asking you to change your automatic responses ...more
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
I may circle back to this one, because the concept of emotional coaching sounds really smart, and I'd like to learn how to do it better, but so much of the first third that I read had to do with the destructive consequences of divorce that it left me feeling pretty shitty. I'd appreciate some nuance to these blanket statements; obviously, it's better for a parent to protect kids by removing them from a scary situation with the other parent. We all know divorce in general isn't ideal for kids. Le ...more
Chalay Cragun
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. I feel like it's something you can read no matter how old your child is. I'm sure it will be one that I will revisit as I enter different ages of parenting. As I read more books to become more intentional in my parenting it seems like the underlying 'secret' to it all is creating and maintaining a connection with your kids. This book also talked a lot about becoming emotionally intelligent yourself so you can mirror behaviors to your child. Since I started reading this one I fee ...more
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book on parenting, it was on a recommended reading list for divorced parents with children experiencing high conflict on daily basis. However, it is valuable for any parent, wanting to help their child to develop coping mechanisms, which are essential for building friendships, doing well at school and beyond. The book gives you a well-defined framework to explore and practice handling all kinds of emotional situations with your child.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a really helpful book no matter where you are in your parenting journey. While I already practice a lot of what the author advocates, it was enlightening to have it presented so clearly with a lot to help me remember why it's important. It also helped me to understand which ways I tend to lean when I'm messing up so that I can identify and correct them in myself more easily. ...more
Kelly Casteel
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
If someone would rewrite this book—stripping it of its backward-looking 1990s gendered stereotypes and it’s tough-on-crime, traditional-family outlook—then it would be a really good book. As it is though, you have to mine it for its valuable nuggets, of which there are many, and let yourself skip over the author’s cultural baggage, of which there is plenty.
The only reason I didn’t rate this book very highly was because there was little in it that was new to me, but I’m familiar with Gottman’s work and also a therapist. I think a lot of people who interact with children in any capacity would benefit from this.
Annemarie Kuhnau
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Figure I should read the book all the other parenting stuff I like talks about! So many great take always! This is one I need to reread ever other year (or yearly).
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not a book that’s easy to read, but great information on handling emotional situations with children.
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
This really is a must read for parents. I found it incredibly challenging, but also affirming of the choices I have made to be emotionally available to my kids and be a stay at home parent.
Kristen Iworsky
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this book to parents. Using the method of Emotion Coaching with my two year old has really made a difference in helping him explore his feelings and find strategies to get through whatever problem he is facing. Seriously, read this especially if you have a toddler at home!
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents
One thing my mother always told me was that she believes children are people too, and adults should remember that. Essentially, that is the message John Gottman seeks to deliver in Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child.

As a parent I found the book helpful because it gives five "rules" for responding when your child is emotional. I find, that as my son gets older, my impulse is to expect him to keep his emotions more under control. But that expectation is sometimes unreasonable; I need to rem
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John Mordecai Gottman is an American psychological researcher and clinician who did extensive work over four decades on divorce prediction and marital stability. He is also an award-winning speaker, author, and a professor emeritus in psychology.

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“They don’t object to their children’s displays of anger, sadness, or fear. Nor do they ignore them. Instead, they accept negative emotions as a fact of life and they use emotional moments as opportunities for teaching their kids important life lessons and building closer relationships with them.” 11 likes
“When parents offer their children empathy and help them to cope with negative feelings like anger, sadness, and fear, parents build bridges of loyalty and affection.” 9 likes
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