Here are Stephen Briers' action points to work at with your children.
- Make concious efforts to help your child expand his emotional vocabulary: Put clear, consistent labels on your own feelings. Use real-life examples, pictures and stories to identify and explain emotional reactions.
- Help your child understand that it is possible to feel different and even contradictory feelings at the same time.
- Teach children to accept their feelings - even the less comfortable ones.
- Be clear that no one is accountable for what they feel, only what they do.
- Help your child not to bury feelings that can lead to problems later.
- Encourage your child to become aware of the feelings and needs of others.
- Work hard to show and encourage empathy, one of the cornerstones of self-control.
- Give your child controlled exposure to positive and negative feelings, but keep the overall tone upbeat and affirming.
This advice is taken from Superpowers for Parents: The Psychology of Great Parenting and Happy Children published by Pearson Prentice Hall and available from Amazon.