How To Teach Your Child Emotional Intelligence
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One of the most important skills that young people must learn is how to manage their emotions. As we know, emotional intelligence (or EQ as it’s sometimes called) can have profound effects on your life, both in terms of your career and personal life.
Research shows that those with higher levels of EQ are more likely to succeed academically, socially, professionally, and personally. They are also less prone to mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
While some researchers believe that EQ is an innate quality, others think it is something that can be learned through education and training. This makes it possible to teach this vital skill to children, and hopefully they will pass along these lessons to the next generation.
As we mentioned before, emotional intelligence is like learning how to read or learn a new skill — it takes time to develop. It’s not something you can pick up in the short term, especially for kids who are developing their understanding of emotions.
But this is important to know because there will be times when your child seems very upset about something and you might feel stressed or even angry.
Having more self-control over your own feelings is a form of emotional intelligence, and this takes practice.
So instead of giving in to these negative thoughts and feelings, try to think about what things could backfire on your child. Are they going to get hurt if she/he leaves? Will he/she miss out on something she wanted?
If you can find ways to address those issues, then chances are she/he will too. This way, she/he will understand that sometimes people do things without thinking about the consequences, but still wanting them to leave is never okay.
Embrace changes with parents
As children grow up, so does their need for change. Changes may include moving away from home, changing schools, having different teachers, and possibly transitioning into older grades. All of these require patience!
It can also mean making adjustments due to health problems or life events such as graduating high school or getting married.
Give your child space to process his/her reactions to these changes.
Make it fun
While emotional intelligence is important for kids of all ages, there are ways you can make this training more engaging. If children see that you’re having lots of fun while teaching them about emotions, they may feel motivated to learn what you have covered.
The best way to teach anyone anything is by making the lesson interesting and entertaining. When kids see that you enjoy yourself when you talk about difficult topics like fear or anger, they might try to imitate those behaviors.
You could also use lessons in emotional intelligence as an opportunity to discuss other topics such as motivation, self-confidence, and teamwork. These are concepts that every adult should know, but many adults don’t because they learned these things as teens.
If your child seems particularly intelligent, chances are he or she already has some form of emotional intelligence. You can help their development through education, but you must first identify what skills they have mastered.
As mentioned earlier, children will learn how to deal with their emotions from both their parents and other adults they interact with. If you are not sure if your child is experiencing emotion regulation skills or not, ask about them!
Ask whether there have been changes in how your child reacts towards you or others during times when she’s feeling happy, sad, angry, etc. Ask if her behavior has changed since the start of school, or if these changes occur at certain times of year.
If possible, keep meetings short so that your child does not need to prepare for longer than necessary. This also helps limit distractions for her.
Avoid giving too much attention to what you are doing while she is talking to you. It may be hard to balance, but make an effort to do so as soon as possible.
As difficult as it can sometimes be, try not to take things personally. Even though it may feel like a personal attack, chances are your child is just not thinking before she says something.
She might not know what she was saying properly, or could not process her feelings correctly. Or maybe she did not understand the context of the conversation.
A lot of theories about emotional intelligence focus heavily on either developing your empathy or teaching you how to control your emotions. Both of these things are important, but they can be slightly misleading.
Empathy is only part of what makes up emotional intelligence. The other part is understanding why people feel the way they do in certain situations. We all have different levels of this understanding depending on what stage we are at developmentally.
As parents, it’s easy to get stuck thinking that if you make eye contact with your child then he/she will feel loved. While making eye contact is a nice thing to do, it is not the only factor when it comes to emotional maturity.
You also need to know why children make the choices they do. Why does your six-year-old like to play with his toys while the rest of the house is being cleaned? It could be because he doesn’t understand the concept of keeping belongings separate.
It might be helpful to ask yourself questions such as “What kinds of feelings does my child seem to struggle with?” and “Why are those thoughts and feelings there?”
If you find that their behavior is motivated by something external (for example, a desire for a toy) then practicing self-awareness and identifying potential risk factors may help.
As mentioned earlier, emotional intelligence is improved through education. Obviously teaching children how to read, do math, and speak multiple languages helps develop their cognitive skills, but not every child will learn what it takes to be successful in life from those lessons.
Emotional literacy or EQ is another important skill that can help them find success. This includes things like understanding emotions, being able to recognize your own feelings, and helping others understand theirs.
Educating kids about emotions happens very early on. For example, when babies are born they are already aware of themselves and their surroundings. They know if someone else is hungry or happy by observing their behavior.
As parents we can teach our kids more advanced ways to manage their emotions by doing so at an early age. By giving kids opportunities to process different experiences, they will begin to understand why some reactions are helpful and which ones aren’t.
Structure is one of the most fundamental human needs. Without it people may feel overwhelmed and unable to control their impulses. In the workplace, for instance, workers with low levels of empathy may burn out due to the constant exposure to stressful situations.
In schools, students who lack emotion regulation may suffer in terms of learning and performance. Luckily, there are many strategies you can use to improve this part of young children’s development.
As we mentioned before, teaching your child emotional intelligence is about being aware of their emotions and how they affect others. Being honest with them can help them gain this knowledge.
As parents, there are times when you’re really stressed out or angry. This could cause your children to get anxious or scared.
Having these conversations about emotion helps your kids understand what makes people feel bad and why it is important to be able to control their own feelings.
They also learn that some things are more important than other things in life. For example, their family is more important than getting good grades or playing sports.
Being open and honest with your kid will show them that it is okay to not always talk, but if you need help resolving an issue, you must speak up.
Ask for their opinion
As we mentioned before, educating children about emotional intelligence is more than just telling them how important it is, it’s asking them what they think about it. When you do this, you give them an opportunity to show you those skills!
Ask your child if he or she understands the term “emotional intelligence” and see what kind of answers you get. Some may say that they understand why it’s important but not much else, while others might talk about how to use it to be happier or learn something new.
The best way to teach your kids about EQ is by sharing your own with them. By showing them who you are as a person and discussing things like stress management and happiness, you can inspire them to do the same.
Another good conversation starter is whether there is such a thing as too educated of a student. If possible, have your kid help you come up with questions to ask him/her about this.
Make plans and invite friends along
Developing your child’s emotional intelligence is like teaching them how to play tennis. You have to start by having a good set of balls- that is, before you can hit a ball, you need to know what moves you will make next.
In the same way, children must learn about their own emotions first in order to apply emotional control to themselves and others.
They must be aware of their feelings so they can choose whether to address those feelings or not. They must recognize their own mood swings and what causes them so they can avoid triggers.
If they are able to do this, then they will understand the difference between being controlled by strong emotions and choosing to put off responding until your feel better.
This ability is referred to as self-regulation because it comes from within.