Experts all over the place are stressing the need for inculcating/developing Emotional Intelligence in children. In the earlier days, it was thought that a person who is successful academically would be able to survive any situation and will be happier and successful in life. But nowadays, the world has turned into a highly competitive and aggressive playing field that requires more emotional intelligence to be successful along with academic intelligence. As most of the children and youth are not equipped with these life skills, we are seeing a host of mental health issues in the current generations. That’s the reason why this blog discusses tips to raise an emotionally intelligent child.
What is an Emotional Intelligence?
As per the dictionary meaning, Emotional Intelligence is defined as the ability to understand, manage and express one’s feelings appropriately while respecting the feelings of others, without causing problems to anyone. The person with this intelligence, popularly referred to as EQ, will have healthier relationships and is more likely to succeed in life. The following are the key traits that define Emotional Intelligence.
Self-awareness – means that we are aware of our own emotions, both positive and negative. We are able to identify the root cause for those emotions and how they are able to affect our behavior.
Self-management – means we are able to manage our own emotions in a productive way to yield the positive result. We are able to control our impulsive behaviors and are able to minimize the negative emotions which are not going to yield any positive result to us.
Empathy – we are able to identify the emotions in other people based on the non-verbal cues they are sending. We are able to empathize with them and also use their emotional cues to recognize the power plays that are happening in a given group. So that way, we are able to develop healthy relationships with others.
Social Skills – As we are able to read the non-verbal cues in a group, we would be comfortable in groups and are able to steer them towards them to the decision making
Intrinsic Motivation – Internal motivation is required for any body’s success. Once we know our own emotions and the negative feelings associated, we would be able to overcome those negative feelings and would be able to succeed in the difficult tasks we set ourselves to achieve.
Benefits of having high EQ:
Though most of the experts and psychologists say that having a high EQ leads to the success of the individual, we as parents are worried to know more details as to how having EQ would really lead to the success. Here are a few ways, in which EQ proves to be the best asset for every one.
- Higher EQ is linked to higher IQ as well.
Research has shown that the kids who secured higher grades in SAT and other standardized tests have higher emotional intelligence. They also tend to get higher grades through school and college. The reason research showed for this excellence is that when the children are able to manage their emotions/feelings better, they are able to avoid unnecessary stress on them.
- Better Relationships:
The people with high EQ are typically observed to have a healthier lifestyle, and also better relationships. If the child has high EQ, then he is more likely to develop deeper relationships and they will help him in his future life. He will also have a good lifestyle.
- Improved Mental Health:
People with higher EQ are less likely to undergo depression and other mental health issues. And they are able to work in the competitive world with relative ease when compared to the others. That means they would undergo little or no stress when compared to those people with less EQ.
Tips to raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child.
We can start teaching emotions at any age to the child, though it’s better to start early so that he can grasp them quickly. But, it’s never late and we can teach our child at any point of the time. The following are few tips to raise an emotionally intelligent child. They require a lot more time and effort from the parent’s side. But trust me, this investment will never go waste, as we are trying to teach the emotional intelligence to our child.
1. Label Emotions:
Start teaching children how to label their various emotions, which are both positive and negative. There are a lot of books available in the market for kids to discuss different emotions. Apart from reading these books to the children, having a discussion about the feelings of the characters in the book really helps the child to label their emotions. Asking questions like
If you are in that character’s position, I guess you would be really mad??? That will be so frustrating, isn’t it? Would you like to discuss the reasons for your anger?
instead of shutting the child’s feelings would make him aware of his feelings and he would start taking positive actions in that direction. Also, as parents, we need to role model how we manage our emotions in front of our children.
2. Recognize the emotions in others
While going for walk or going anywhere outside, we can show different people and their postures. We can then discuss the emotions that other people are experiencing. And if they are your friends, we can go over to them and talk to them directly about their emotions.
Look at Pam, her body is slumped. May be she is tired or sad.
3. Discuss impact of your child’s actions on others.
Whenever your child behaves in a socially inappropriate way, instead of scolding or punishing him, just sit down and discuss with him the impact of his actions on others. This will help him understand the emotions in others better and
How do you think Bob felt after you said those words? What would you have felt, when someone else says the same thing to you?
4. Initiate Problem Solving:
Once your child understands the pain caused by his reaction to others. We need to have a conversation with him about how he can make it correct for them. Please remember that let it not be a lecturing session for them. Let them come up with the solution on their own. Don’t force them to say sorry or apologize to the other kid. The kids have to come out with a solution on their own.
The other person might be suffering due to some other reason as well. But we can try and help him as much as possible. That way, the child will understand that all are fortunate like us. We need to help the less fortunate people as much as possible.
5. Discuss the social issues:
Discuss the social issues that are plaguing us. Create awareness of the issues and problems around us. So that, the children can come up with their unique solutions for these problems. Let the children take a call about how he can control or minimize these issues.
The above-mentioned are simple yet very effective tips to raise a self-confident child who can navigate through all the tricky situations that life poses with relative ease. Please let us know what else you are following to make your child a more emotionally intelligent child.