Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman

It has been more than a month since I finished reading Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman (published 1998). By waiting to write my thoughts, I may not have as many specific examples and quotes to share with my readers. However, by letting the book percolate in my mind as I went about my life, I can even better declare that Gottman’s slim volume is a helpful and essential reminder of the role of parents in the lives of young children.

While parents and teachers often devote lots of time to teaching academics and well rounded activities (from music to athletics), how often have parents considered the ways they are helping their children develop emotional intelligence? In a world were people are increasingly pulled in a variety of directions, the ability to regulate emotions and control one self in a complicated world is essential. Gottman’s book helps me see my opportunities for teaching my kids. It also gives me realistic ways to implement the teaching of emotional strength. Continue Reading

Kids Corner (1000 Books): Growing Pains

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about my son’s books. Since I’m reading longer novels myself this month, I’ll use this opportunity to jump in and say something about what we’ve been reading together.

I’ve been skimming over The ABCs of Literacy (reviewed here; that book inspired my 1000 Books Project) for ideas on helping use books as a tool in my sons’ stage of life and learning, and some of Ms. Dollins’ ideas have been very successful for us.  I am not using books as a “preschool” curriculum or anything of the sort: I’ve just been trying to think out of the box and applying the books to my sons’ needs more than I had in the past. And we’ve both, I believe been enjoying that approach.

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The Norton Introduction to Poetry + My Introduction to Poetry

I was about 16 or 17 before I “got” the point of poetry. My mother (an English grad student) had invited me to come to an English conference with her, and the poet Andrew Hudgins spoke. I don’t know what he said or which of his poems he shared, but I suddenly realized that poetry can be a beautiful part of a self, that a poet is able to express feelings in words, feelings that I never thought expressible.

It was shortly after that that I bought the Norton Introduction to Poetry (3rd edition, 1984; the link is for the 9th edition, 2006) for a few dollars at a used bookstore. I’ve since browsed through it numerous times and always enjoyed the tutorial and anthology aspects of it: when I’m in the mood to think about poetry, it’s a nice fall back. In the last few months, I took the time to actually read most of it. (I think I skipped a total of about 50 pages in the 500 page book, mostly excerpts from long poems by Milton, Eliot, and Tennyson that I plan to read in full.)Continue Reading