Children are not born with emotional intelligence. They learn it through their interactions with the world and their parents. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s own emotions as well as those of others. It is important for children to develop this skill because it will help them in every area of life, from relationships to work to health.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s own emotions as well as those of others. It is important for children to develop this skill because it will help them in every area of life, from relationships to work. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), emotional intelligence is a set of skills that enable people to monitor their own and others’ feelings and emotions, discriminate among them, and use that information to guide their thinking and actions. It includes the ability to recognize one’s own feelings and emotions in oneself as well as in others to discern their emotions from those of others.
Children need the experience of feeling emotions and practice tolerating them to develop self-control and emotional intelligence.
In the current scenario, parents give so much emphasis on academic achievement for their children. Everyone wants their child to be in 1st position, whether it is in academics, extra-curricular activities, or any sort of competition, and ignore that their child needs to learn how to regulate their emotions too. Research has shown that emotional intelligence is twice as strong a predictor as the IQ of later success. We should understand that children get more emotionally affected than adults. Thus, it is important for us, as parents and teachers, to help them convert emotions into assets. Let us understand why?
Benefits of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a type of intelligence that is not measured by IQ, but instead measured by self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Emotional intelligence can be learned and taught to children.
A child who has high emotional intelligence will be able to:
Understand how their emotions affect themselves and others.
Manage their emotions in healthy ways.
Communicate their emotions clearly and appropriately.
Have empathy for others’ feelings.
Build positive relationships with other people.
Practicing the five steps to emotion coaching
Some people think that a child’s emotional intelligence is inherited from the parents, but it is not true. There are many other factors that can influence the emotional intelligence of your children, such as their peers, teachers, and even the media.
There are many ways to raise your child’s emotional intelligence such as teaching them how to be more mindful of their emotions, how to express their feelings in an appropriate way, and how to deal with difficult emotions. But, as parents, we need to be aware of our own emotional state and how it may affect our children. In turn, we should teach children about emotions and how to deal with them in a healthy manner.
Emotion coaching is one technique that helps parents to help their children manage their emotions.
This technique consists of five steps that can be practiced in any situation.
Identify the emotion and acknowledge your child’s feelings: This is a simple step that can have a huge impact on your child’s emotional intelligence. It’s important to identify what your child is feeling before you can help them manage it. You might ask them, “What are you feeling right now?” or “What’s going on with you?” When you acknowledge their feelings, you are letting them know that you care about what they are feeling and that it matters to you.
Listen and validate the emotion: Emotional intelligence is not just about identifying our own emotions but also understanding the emotions of others. When we listen to our children, we are showing them that we care about what they are saying and that we want to understand their point of view, too. Validating your child’s feelings will make them feel more understood and less alone in their experience. You might say, “I know that this feels really hard.” “I know that this feels really hard.” “I understand why you’re feeling so upset.” “This is making me feel really mad.” “It sounds like you’re feeling frustrated and angry when you say this.” Gain their confidence and give them time to express their feelings. This will not only help them in overcoming their emotion but also give them assurance that you are there when they are in need.
Ask questions and connect with your child: This step helps us to find out more about how they feel so we can better understand their perspective. Ask your child questions about their feelings and thoughts and ask them to tell you what they know about the topic. When they’re upset, kids need to feel like they’re being heard and understood by a caring adult who will help them through it. You might say, ” I can see that this is really hard for you.” To conquer this step with the mood meter, tell a story or share your personal experience.
Learn from others and plan a strategy: When we spend time listening to others, we can learn from them and use what we have learned in our own lives so that our children get the best of both worlds. Your child might need help to get back to calm. You might say, “What can we do to help you feel better?” and help them express their emotions better. Explaining why and how helps them cope up with their negative feelings and prepares them to apply different strategies to express and remold their own emotions into success.
- Help them control emotions into assets: Help your child cope with their emotions by developing problem-solving skills. This involves helping them with setting goals and finding solutions to reach those goals. Another way is praising our children for their good behavior instead of their words. When we are encouraging them to act on things that make them feel good. This can help to reduce their anxiety and build self-confidence.
Adjust your plan: If this step doesn’t work, you might need to adjust your strategy. For example, if your child is protesting, you might be able to help them by offering a different choice. For example, “What can we do that is different from what you tried before?” “What are you feeling right now?” “I know that this feels really hard.” “What can we do to help you feel better?”
Here are a few activities that will help you channel your child’s emotional struggle:
Engaging children in a range of activities, such as creative arts, music, movement, and nature walks help them channel their child’s emotional struggle. Here are a few activities:
Mood meter: The mood meter can be used to understand a child’s mood and how to deal with it. Working together towards a goal can help children channel their emotions. There are many activities that help a child describe their emotions and how they should deal with them.
Ask them to paint something that makes them happy and calm. Ask them to take deep breaths and listen to the music. This is known as integrating green feelings (pleasant and lower energy).
Invite the child to dance to their favorite music together.
Use pretend play and solve a problem together.
Give them a scenario and ask them to solve that together. Let them solve the situation. You may intervene in between, but only to bring positivity to them.
How to identify whether your child has developed emotional intelligence?
Achieving emotional intelligence does not happen overnight. It takes time, practice, and patience.
Some signs that your child has developed emotional intelligence are:
- They are skilled with empathy, showing concern for others, and understanding their emotions.
- They are able to regulate their emotions, staying calm in the face of a difficult situation.
- They have high self-esteem, knowing that they deserve love and care.
- They understand the importance of boundaries, respecting people’s personal space, and not being intrusive into someone else’s life.
- They have a kind heart and are compassionate toward others.
- They can empathize with someone else’s feelings, understanding their point of view.
- They have the ability to communicate in a way that benefits the discussion, rather than antagonizing or provoking conflict.
- They have self-control and know when it is time for them to step back and protect themselves.
- They have a clear understanding of their values and those of others; they are able to distinguish what they believe in from what they don’t.
- They are compassionate and generous, giving people the benefit of the doubt, and believing that everyone deserves a second chance.
- They understand how difficult life can be for some people and have compassion for those who are going through tough times.
- They recognize their own strengths and weaknesses and know that they are loved even when they fail.
- They know that not every decision is perfect or always the best course of action- knowing when to bow out gracefully, forgive themselves for mistakes, and learn from past mistakes.
5 tips to raise an emotionally intelligent child
Some simple tips for raising an emotionally intelligent child are: –
Talk about feelings with your child – Don’t criticize or punish your child for expressing feelings
Allow your child to express feelings without judgment
Teach your child how to calm him or herself down when angry or upset
Teach your child how to deal with frustration
Don’t always offer a solution to your child’s problems
Allow space for your child’s emotions, even if at times they are difficult to handle.
Academic achievement is largely determined by the achievement levels of parents. Parents themselves should be educated on the importance of education and how it can lead to greater opportunities and improved quality of life. There is also a belief that less educated parents are more likely to pass on their faulty values in the homes they raise their children in. In order to create a safe environment for your child’s development, it is important that you provide him or her with resources for emotional intelligence, such as books, music, and other media. Also, put your child in programs such as dance, theatre and martial arts that help build their self-esteem.
We have learned that an emotionally intelligent child is a well-adjusted, confident, and happy individual. This is an ongoing process that needs to be nurtured and developed throughout childhood and adolescence.