The process of emotion coaching from one parent’s perspective: Uncovering the impact of parental behaviour and emotions on the effectiveness of emotion coaching

This study evaluated the effect of my emotions and behaviours on my ability to emotion coach my children, and respond to them with empathy. The research took place over the course of four weeks. I was the main participant and, as receivers of the emotion coaching, my three children were the remaining participants. Methods: The data was collected in the form of a reflective diary, which recounted interactions and conflicts between myself and my children, with particular reference to my emotions and thoughts and the effect that these had on the situation. A supporting set of data was collected from two of the other participants. They shared their perspectives in the form of writing and drawings, following the Mosaic Approach to data collection with children.

Data Analysis: The research diary was analysed two ways, both inductive – to explore how my emotions affected my skills of emotion coaching – and deductive – to identify whether my attempts to emotion coach
were successful. The data from the mosaic approach was analysed via inductive thematic analysis and used to support my findings from the diary. Findings: Maternal negative emotions, maternal dismissing emotions, and external pressures all had a negative impact on my ability to empathise, and emotion coach my children. Staying calm, positive emotions and time to think enabled me to emotion coach more successfully, and thus had positive outcomes. Conclusion: Parental emotional regulation effects the ability to respond with empathy to children, and thus to emotion coach. This research has positive implications for myself – for my parenting and for my future as a teacher – for my children, and can aid other parents and teachers in their own emotion-coaching journeys.