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Building Emotional Intelligence


Hands raised and accountability taken for attempting to raise kind, empathetic, smart, and emotionally intelligent children.  Parents, we are hopefully on the backside of COVID times and asking ourselves the impact of quarantine and lack of consistent social support.  Where to start?

A family can start with building social emotional skills that help navigate this world, connect with others, and build healthy relationships.  As a family, the goal is to identify, express, and manage emotions in a healthy way. The first step is to allow each member to identify and discuss emotions experienced for the day. One way to build social emotional skills are emotional check-ins. Emotional check-ins can be formal and structured, or informal and on the fly.  The check-in is important because it provides space for each family member to intentionally identify, reflect on, and share their emotions.  The check-in provides the opportunity to get a sense of how family members are feeling, and who might need a little more help.
Here are some easy ways to check-in with each other:
Internal Weather Report: Ask, “If your mood were the weather, what would it be?” For example, if you’re angry it could be a thunderstorm, or if you’re happy it could be sunny. Give everyone a chance to think, then have everyone share with the group. They can choose to explain and elaborate on their feelings, or not.  
Pop Culture: Ask, “If your current mood were a song or movie, what would it be?” For example, if you’re having a great day your song could be “Happy” by Pharrell, or if you’re grumpy your movie could be “The Grinch.” Give everyone a chance to think, then have everyone share. They can choose to explain and elaborate on their feelings, or not. 
Rose, Bud, Thorn: Ask, "What is the best thing that happened during your day (the rose)?"  "What are you looking forward to (the rose bud)?", and "What is worst thing that happened today (a thorn)?" Give everyone a chance to think, then share. They can choose to explain and elaborate on their day and feelings, or not. 
The check-in goal is for everyone to feel and experience a range of emotions every single day. It is normal to feel sad, excited, angry, calm, or nervous every day, multiple times a day. Take the opportunity to empathize as each person shares: "Wow, that was fun!" or "Yep, that is frustrating." 

By Randi Bradfield, LPC

Need some additional support for yourself or your family? Click here to schedule an appointment with Randi:

April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month

There is a staggering amount of child abuse happening right here in the United States.  1 in 7 children are abused! 
Stop. For. One. Minute. and think about what that means for the children who live on your block, go to school with your children, or go to your church every week!  

Do you know enough about child abuse to spot it? 
We often think of physical abuse first, looking for bruises or cuts.  However, neglect is the most common type of child abuse.  All types of abuse, including emotional abuse and sexual abuse are incredibly harmful to children and have lasting consequences on development.  A few warning signs of abuse are a child who seems: 
  • Excessively withdrawn, anxious, or fearful
  • Always expecting something bad to happen, or "on alert"
  • Disconnected from parents/caregivers
  • Acts inappropriate for their age (too adult or too young)
  • Does not want to go home or runs away from home
  • Late or missing school
  • Dressed inappropriately for the weather
Check out some of these links for more information on spotting child abuse.  Just a few minutes of your time could make an incredible difference in the life of a child!

Do you know what to do if a child tells you that they have been abused? 
Here's some help:

Has abuse been part of your past experience?  Or maybe you are currently coping with the impact of abuse on your child right now?  Do not go it alone!  Our counselors are experts in helping you and your family get back to a thriving life. 

Thrive Counseling is a non-profit organization.  Your financial support helps provide counseling services to children, families, and individuals impacted by abuse and exploitation.  All donations are tax deductible.

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