5 Easy Ways To Nurture Emotional Intelligence In Kids
As parents, we intend to raise our children confident, smart, kind, and successful in all areas of life. This includes both academically and emotionally intelligent too. The way in which the parents and teachers behave and respond to situations is directly linked to children’s behavior and EQ level. With an enhanced EQ level, children can make strong and impacting bonds and gain respect and trust. So, here we will discuss what Emotional Intelligence is and some tips on how to nurture it in your kids.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (also called Emotional Quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, express, and convey one’s emotions in such a way that does not hurt others’ feelings and sentiments. It is a skill that teaches us to communicate more efficiently, cope well in difficult situations, overcome challenges and be empathic towards people. It helps us recognize and connect with our feelings, express them in a behaved manner and make mindful decisions.
Why Is It Important To Make Our Child Emotionally Intelligent?
Raising a child both academically and emotionally intelligent is very important these days. No matter how academically intelligent a child is, if he/she is not able to cope with stress and environmental pressures, he/she cannot be successful in life. To achieve success, a child should be able to manage emotions, build personal relationships, regulate behavior, and adjust to situations.
Do you know that many companies nowadays also keep emotionally intelligent as a selection criterion while recruiting a candidate? Good IQ can surely land the child a great college or a job, but with good EQ, a child will be able to work as a good team player, manage disputes, handle pressures and deadlines and be socially comfortable.
Benefits of Being Emotionally Intelligent
- An emotionally intelligent person knows how to deal with stress and emotions. So, he/she can understand and express the feelings very effectively while keeping others’ emotions into consideration. This helps in building strong relationships both in personal and professional life.
- Since an emotionally intelligent person can handle conflicts and anxiety very well, this makes him both physically and mentally strong.
- An emotionally intelligent person is always successful in life and has a blooming career. He can work well in teams, deal with pressures and build strong relationships.
Every child has the ability to learn the skills of emotional intelligence. As per the study, a child can learn emotional intelligence at any age. However, it is best to start early when they have sharp minds, and their ability to grasp new things is at its peak. These skills will help the child achieve good grades, thereby providing lifelong success.
5 Tips To Nurture Emotional Intelligence In Children
Tip 1. Help Your Child To Recognise Emotions
The first step in raising an emotionally intelligent child is recognizing and accepting their emotions. It is very important that a child knows and understands different emotions. Help your child recognize and label every emotion (positive or negative) they express. Introduce and name each emotion such as ‘sad’, ‘angry’, ‘excited’, ‘scared’.
Talk to them about emotions every day. Whenever they watch a movie or read a storybook, talk about different emotions the characters in the movie or storybook are going through. This way, they will rapidly get to know about various emotions.
For instance: If a child is feeling excited that his new toy is arriving, say, ‘Hey, are you feeling excited that you will get your new toy today?’ OR, if a child is upset that he did not win the game, say, ‘I can see that you are sad that you did not win.’
Tip 2. Be Kind And Empathetic Towards Your Child
When your child is upset or crying, listen to their feelings and understand the emotions they are experiencing. Instead of yelling and screaming over them, giving them a tight hug is a good idea. This will assure them that you understand them. They will feel safe and protected. But, that does not mean giving in to their demands. Stick to your rules and limits by staying calm and firm. Check out another blog on Tech-Savvy Kids & Their Increased Screen Time: A Modern Parenting Skill.
Tip 3. Allow Your Child To Express Emotions
Children cannot understand emotions. They don’t know how to express themselves. Like adults, children also want to be listened to and accepted. Allow them to express their feelings and vent out. Do not show your anger towards their behavior, as this will suppress their feelings. Instead, teach them that these negative feelings are natural but should be expressed in a positive and healthy way.
For instance: Your child’s notebook is torn off by a sibling and is fighting. Be kind to your child and teach that it is okay to fight but without hitting.
As it is said that children imitate their parents, thus it is suggested that parents too should practice emotional intelligence with children.
Tip 4. Teach Your Child Problem Solving
Children need to express their feelings and be understood. They need to acknowledge their emotions and be accepted. Once they recognize the problem, it’s time to teach them to fix it healthy. So, here as a parent, you have to guide your child and show the right direction in problem-solving. You can provide several ideas to resolve the problem and allow them to choose the best solution.
For instance: Your child is not willing to share toys with his/her sibling and is getting mad over the sibling. So, in that case, you can help your child by brainstorming solutions and encouraging them to choose the one in agreement with both.
This will enable the child to express their feelings and realize that they are capable of resolving the issues without hurting others. They will be able to calm themselves in such furious situations and control their emotions.
Tip 5. Inculcate Healthy Habits
Ultimately, your aim is to manage your child’s emotions and raise a strong, emotionally intelligent child. This can be achieved when we as a whole family have the right healthy habits.
Thus, as parents, we need to watch our behavior and emotions too.
We need to learn to let go of some mistakes and focus on the positives. Do not lose your temper or react to trivial things and try to stay calm. Give yourself some ‘ME’ time and do things that make you happy.
With your support and guidance, your child will certainly grow into an emotionally intelligent being and attain success in life. When we help our children to manage emotions, they have a better understanding of the feelings of their own.
In conclusion, children can strengthen their emotional intelligence with practice. It will help them to develop a positive outlook and healthy attitude in the long run. Also read, How to Parent in a More Mindful Way.