The relationship between parent and child can be one of life’s most incredible gifts, but it is wildly complicated. Developmentally, children undergo major changes from birth through adulthood and parents can feel lost along the way. Even though parents deeply love their children, their actions sometimes lead to unintended consequences, causing their children to feel unloved or abandoned when their feelings are dismissed.

Creating emotionally intelligent children is at the heart of Sprout therapists approach to working with parents. Based in a method developed by The Gottman Institute, parents are coached to validate feelings and to express understanding and empathy for their children. Often parents mistakenly lead by setting limits and delivering consequences. By first building an alliance with your child, it is much easier to set limits and problem solve with your child.

If you're interested in joining click on the link below:

Sprout therapists run group classes as well as individual and couples sessions. Call 708-528-7025 to sign up for the next group class or to make an individual appointment.

Testimonial from one of our Emotion Coaching Participants:

My husband and I are both interested in Gottman's research on couples and have found it helpful in the past. We were interested when we learned that he had conducted some research on parenting and we wanted to know more. Before starting the course I noticed we were negotiating with our daughter too much and then after it didn't work we would either give in or blow up. We are much better at quickly reflecting and validating our daughter's concerns, empathizing and then setting limits. As a family we are better at labeling how we are feeling rather than acting it out. It was great to have time each week to slow down and reflect on the big picture - how do we want to parent and what is preventing us from following-through. Practicing between sessions made a big difference. I recommend this course because it offers time and space to reflect on our parenting styles. Initially I was going to attend alone, but when I saw that another couple was there together I asked my husband to come along. It helped us focus on finding a united way of working with our kids, and gave us some nice time to bond as parents. Practically speaking, I found it challenging at first to apply the method quickly. I needed examples to model myself after. We found some examples online, which helped. I recommend this course. We felt very comfortable with the facilitators, and doing it over the course of many weeks helped to imprint the lessons into daily life. I feel like our whole family has learned how to identify our feelings better and it shows when our daughter plays with other kids.

Madigan Kent, LCSW