S2E2 – Reflecting Feelings: The First Building Block to Better Parenting

Mar 19, 2024

In today’s episode of the Play Therapy Parenting Podcast, we’re diving into the first pillar of child-centered play therapy, which is reflecting feelings. This foundational skill is all about acknowledging and validating our children’s emotions. Remembering that kids aren’t rational beings, we have to meet them in their emotional world, rather than expecting them to understand ours. By reflecting their feelings, we help them build an emotional vocabulary and effectively communicate their needs, instead of acting out their needs via unacceptable behavior. Through simple steps like starting with “you” and accurately identifying their emotions, we can make a big difference in our children’s emotional development. I challenge you to try reflecting your child’s feelings at least once a day this week and see the impact it has on your relationship. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go perfectly at first, just keep practicing. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or scenarios you’d like advice on, and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter at www.playtherapyparenting.com for more helpful content.

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Cochran, N., Nordling, W., & Cochran, J. (2010). Child-Centered Play Therapy (1st ed.). Wiley.
VanFleet, R., Sywulak, A. E., & Sniscak, C. C. (2010). Child-centered play therapy. Guilford Press.
Landreth, G. L. (2002). Play therapy: The art of the relationship (2nd ed.). Brunner-Routledge.
Bratton, S. C., Landreth, G. L., Kellam, T., & Blackard, S. R. (2006). Child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) treatment manual: A 10-session filial therapy model for training parents. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
Benedict, Helen. Themes in Play Therapy. Used with permission to Heartland Play Therapy Institute.

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