Our Learning Team at Monti Kids highly recommend Dr. Becky Kennedy’s book “Good Inside” * for parents of children of all ages. This book offers valuable insights into the development of young children, and the strategies that parents can use to help their children develop strong emotional intelligence.
Dr. Becky’s approach is aligned with the Montessori philosophy, which emphasizes respect for the child as an individual and supports their natural development. She emphasizes the importance of creating a nurturing environment for children that allows them to develop a sense of security, self-confidence, and independence. The book includes practical advice for parents on how to communicate with their children, set boundaries, and encourage their emotional growth.
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One of the key messages of the book is the importance of teaching children to recognize and manage their emotions. Dr. Becky provides guidance on how to help children understand their feelings and express them in healthy ways. She also discusses the importance of modeling positive emotional behavior as a parent, and the impact this can have on a child's development.
“Good Inside” is an excellent resource for parents who want to support their children's emotional growth and development. Dr. Becky’s expertise and practical advice make this book a must-read for any parent who wants to create a nurturing and supportive environment for their child.
The Importance of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one's emotions, as well as the emotions of others. It is a critical skill for success in life, both personally and professionally. Research has shown that children with high emotional intelligence are more likely to have better well being, higher academic achievement, and stronger relationships.
Dr. Kennedy argues that emotional intelligence should be taught and developed from a young age. She provides practical advice for parents on how to help their children understand their feelings and express them in healthy ways. This includes teaching children how to recognize and name their emotions, as well as how to cope with difficult emotions like anger, sadness, and frustration.
Creating A Nurturing Environment
A key theme of "Good Inside" is the importance of creating a nurturing environment for children. Dr. Becky believes that a nurturing environment is essential for children to feel secure and confident in their emotional development. She provides practical advice for parents on how to create a nurturing environment in their homes, including:
Set clear boundaries: Children need clear boundaries and guidelines to feel safe and secure. Parents should establish clear rules and expectations for their children and communicate them clearly and consistently.
Show love and affection: Children need to feel loved and cared for. Parents should express their love and affection for their children through various moments of connection like reading, hugs, and even just 10 minutes of child-led play.
Foster independence: Children crave a sense of independence and autonomy. Parents can encourage their children to complete age appropriate tasks around the house as well as for themselves. This builds a sense of confidence and contribution to the family.
Provide a safe and stimulating environment: Children need a safe and stimulating environment to explore and learn. Creating “yes” spaces where they can do so freely and offering lots of choices throughout their day removes power struggles and bolsters communication and joy.
“Building resilience is about developing the capacity to tolerate distress, to stay in and with a tough, challenging moment, to find our footing and our goodness even when we don’t have confirmation of achievement or pending success.”
Fostering Empathy according to Dr. Becky
Empathy is an essential aspect of emotional intelligence. It refers to the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Dr. Becky believes that empathy should be fostered from a young age and provides practical advice for parents on how to do this.
She suggests that parents model empathy by showing kindness and understanding towards others, including their children. Parents can also encourage empathy by “sportscasting” what they’re observing. When a conflict or situation occurs, state the facts. “Your sister sounds upset after her ball rolled away. How do you think we can help?” This also models for your little ones to look for the helpers in a situation where they may be overwhelmed and needing support.
Mindfulness is a practice of being present in the moment and aware of one's thoughts and feelings. It is a powerful tool for managing all types of emotions, especially stress, anxiety, and other difficult emotions. Dr. Becky believes that mindfulness can be taught from a young age and that parents can help their children develop mindfulness skills.
She suggests that parents can teach mindfulness by naming the emotions without judgment, then offering support to emotionally regulate, like encouraging their children to focus on their breathing and to acknowledge and validate their thoughts and feelings. Taking the time to help our little ones co-regulate not only teaches them the skills they’ll need as they grow but also helps us to regulate our emotions during challenging times.
Dr. Becky Kennedy's book "Good Inside" is a fabulous read (or listen) for any parent looking to deepen their understanding of emotional intelligence and how to support its development in their children. The book provides practical advice and tools for parents on how to support their children's emotional growth and development, including teaching empathy, and mindfulness.
By following Dr. Becky's guidance, parents can help their children develop strong emotional intelligence, which is essential for success in all aspects of life. "Good Inside" is an excellent resource for parents who want to support their children's emotional development and create a loving and nurturing home environment.
For more information about her or her book check out her community and membership. She has many resources there on a broad range of topics and discussions. Enjoy and share your thoughts!