05 Aug How To Develop Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence
How To Develop Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence
Children are blank canvases that trust their parents to keep their best interests at heart. Popularly it is believed that emotional intelligence is developed automatically in adulthood, that is why it is neglected by most parents. However, emotional intelligence should be derived and inculcated just as organically as lessons in school. Let us define emotional intelligence, it is the way an individual expresses their own emotions and also the way they respect and process others’ emotions. When a child is emotionally aware and intelligent, it helps them grow into confident young adults that are well-placed in society. In a world where talents and extracurriculars are taking center stage, developing an EQ is as important as IQ.
So how can you raise an emotionally intelligent child who can take on life’s challenges with stride?
Validate your child’s emotions
What makes humans the superior species is our ability to not only have complex emotions but also to be able to act on them in a suitable way. Right from an early age, we start gaining consciousness of our surroundings and develop feelings of love, contentment, anger, discomfort, etc. A child is feeling these emotions just as intensely as an adult, so identify when your child is expressing emotions. If they are angry or happy, we must know what is causing them to have intense emotions and bring it to notice. Instead of scolding them, as parents, we must teach them self-control and how to pacify intense emotions in daily life. Additionally, educate your child about the emotion he/she is experiencing and whether it has negative or positive implications, this will help them open up in the future and also develop self-controlling mechanisms.
Discuss the concept of Empathy
The key characteristic of an emotionally intelligent person is their ability to understand and empathize with other people’s emotions. As your child starts going to preschool, they will meet other kids and develop friendships and have first experiences at how human relationships work. During this tricky time, feel free to openly discuss their new friendships and how they make them feel. Discuss the importance of kind acts and how our actions have an effect on others. Just a few simple after school conversations can make the child emotionally aware and help them resolve any issues they might be going through in their mind. For example; if your child takes a toy from another child or engages in a negative action at school, make them aware of how the other child felt. The idea is to develop understanding and not fear of emotions!
Entertainment can be instrumental in learning
Books, movies, and music is more than just entertainment when we are introducing them to our children. Consider the characters in books and movies as your child’s first introduction to human behavior outside of the home. Reading and watching movies together is a good way to engage in healthy dialogue about emotional development while doing it ask your child questions like “What do you think he/she is feeling?” “Is that a good or a bad thing he did”… with this we are directly expanding the child’s emotional bandwidth as he/she is being forced to think outside the box. This develops a sense of reasoning in the child’s mind and they get more aware of human behavior. Emotional Intelligence can play a major role in how well your child does at school and later in life.
Observe and Assist
Parenting, especially to young children, is a constant work under progress. Improvement does not come overnight and it requires our constant diligence and hard work. Sometimes without even saying, your child will tell you a lot about their emotions through their actions. Observe their actions, especially if they do something out of the ordinary, these could be directed towards unresolved feelings that need your assistance. Allow your child to voice these emotions out loud to you, find the cause, and assist them in dealing with it.
Your home should be a welcome ground for all your child’s ideas and growth!