As a parent, you have a duty to promote the development of your child’s intelligence. This may imply academic intelligence, for example, but it’s not the only kind of intelligence that counts.
Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity of an individual to properly convey and handle feelings while respecting others’ feelings. It’s a set of skills that kids can start learning at any point.
So, you want to raise a child that’s emotionally intelligent, and you wonder where to start? Begin with these tips.
Acknowledge Your Child’s Perspective and Empathize
Even if you cannot do something about the frustrations of your kid, empathize. Just being heard makes people let go of unsettling feelings.
If your child’s rage appears out of proportion to the situation, note that once we find a safe haven, we all store up feelings and then let ourselves feel them. We’re free to move on then.
Empathizing doesn’t indicate that you approve, just that you see it too from his viewpoint. He may have to do as you say, but he’s entitled to an opinion of his own. It feels great to get our stance recognized. But sometimes, we don’t get our way, but it just makes things simpler.
Label Your Child’s Emotions
Kids have to recognize how they feel. You can help your child by putting a name to her feelings, or even labeling at least the emotion that you believe your child is feeling.
When your child is upset that they’ve lost a game, you could tell them, “Right now, it looks like you’re feeling really mad. Is that right?” If they look sad, you might say, “Do you feel upset that today we won’t be visiting Grandma and Grandpa?”
To convey emotions, emotional terms like “angry,” “shy,” “upset,” and “painful” can help build their vocabulary. Don’t forget to share the words “thrilled,” “joy,” “excited,” and “hopeful” for pleasant feelings, too.
Share Personal Stories About Emotions
Teachers may integrate emotional intelligence into the classroom practice by sharing stories about their own emotions. Hearing about other people’s emotional experiences makes students learn meaningful ways to communicate and control emotions.
During morning meetings, large or small group time, or snacks or meals, educators may share brief (2-3 minute) developmentally appropriate stories.
If educators explain how the emotion looked and felt, the situation that triggered the emotion, and how the emotion was conveyed and handled, they will foster an atmosphere in the classroom where kids feel validated by expressing their own emotions.
Listen and Validate Your Child’s Feelings
Note that until it feels noticed, anger does not start to melt away. She wants you to listen to the emotions she’s showing, whether your child is six months or sixteen. She’ll let them go and get on with her life after she feels and communicates it.
In reality, once she has an opportunity to show you how she feels, you will be surprised at how affectionate and cooperative she will be. But she needs to know that you’re fully present in the moment and listening in order for her to feel comfortable getting those emotions up and out.
Kids have an incredible ability to let their emotions wash over and out, leaving them happy and agreeable, confident that it’s safe. Breathe through it, remain present, and fight the urge to make those uncomfortable emotions go away. Subconsciously, your child knows how to recover.
There is still room for growth, no matter how emotionally intelligent your child appears. And during childhood and adolescence, there are likely to be several ups and downs.
They are likely to face barriers that will test their abilities as they grow older. So, make it a priority to combine your daily life with skill-building. Speak about feelings every day when your child is young.