Family Support Series: Because “Calm Down” Never Seems to Work: An Introduction to Emotion Coaching

Date: Monday, February 1st, 2021
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Location: The webinar link will be shared with you via email prior to the session start time.

Being a parent is not easy at the best of times. We navigate challenging behaviours, and intense feelings, while trying to manage our own along the way! Add the pandemic, where everyone’s nervous system is on overdrive, and our emotions are much closer to the surface. Plus living in a society that encourages emotion avoidance rather than expression, it’s doesn’t take much before we erupt.

Emotion coaching is the interpersonal process that has the most powerful effect on calming the brain (Lafrance & Miller, 2020). Once children feel heard, they are more likely to hear us, co-operate, become more flexible, and come up with solutions when needed.

In this workshop, participants will learn:

  • A brief overview of emotion basics: how emotions feel, what they need and their action tendency
  • The 5 steps of emotion coaching, with a focus on ‘validation’
  • Awareness of our knee-jerkparenting responses that can steer our kids away from fully processing their emotions
  • Tips to build our inner resources so we can better calm ourselves when trying to help calm our children

Facilitator: Sara Marlowe, MSW, RSW provides psychotherapy to individuals, couples, families and groups in both private practice and the Mindfulness Clinic. She has trained as a facilitator in Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and is a certified teacher in Mindful Self-compassion (MSC). She facilitates mindfulness & compassion workshops and groups for all ages. She is the author of several mindfulness related children’s books including My New Best Friend, which introduces self-compassion to children and No Ordinary Apple: A Story about Eating Mindfully. She has been a regular instructor at Ryerson University in the School of Early Childhood Studies for over 13 years. She is the parent of two children and can be found online at

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and their families are welcome. If you have any access needs to ensure your full participation in this event (examples might include sign language interpretation, mobility issues, or any other accommodations), please contact the Family Care Office and we will work with you to make appropriate arrangements.