How to encourage Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in our kids
Nowdays it’s thought that IQ is not enough to be successful in life. Research indicates that the greater mastery our kids have of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), the more fulfillment they’ll have in life. EQ is the ability to recognize, express and regulate one’s emotions.
Kids with high EQ do better in school, are more cooperative with parents, are healthier, happier, and choose friends who are closer to their own parents and less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
What is behind the EQ?
- Ability to understand their own emotions and the skills to manage them
- Ability to recognize others’ emotions and emphasize with them
The idea is much easier to say than to do, but lucky EQ can be taught and trained. Parents can cultivate EQ in their children.
- Acknowledge your kid’s perspective and emphasize.
Emphasize doesn’t mean agree, but parents have to give a clear message that a kid’s position is acknowledged.
- Allow expression
When we stifle the child’s anger, we don’t switch off his feeling, we just force him to repress his emotion. The anger does not fade away, it’s trapped and looking for a way out. Being under conscious control it pops out uncontrolled, sometimes manifesting as a nightmare or nervous tic. Let them express their emotions in moderate and controlled ways.
“You seem worried about the field trip today. I used to get nervous on field trips too, in kindergarten. Want to tell me about it?”
- Teach problem solving
Most of the time, once kids (and adults) feel their emotions are understood and accepted, the feelings lose their charge and begin to dissipate. This leaves an opening for problem solving. Sometimes, kids can do this themselves. Sometimes, they need your help to brainstorm. But resist the urge to rush in and handle the problem for them unless they ask you to; that gives kids the message that you don’t have confidence in his ability to handle it himself.
- Model Emotional Intelligence
The most important thing you can do to encourage emotional intelligence in your child is to regulate your own emotions. Very often we forgot to discipline our expressions in front of kids. Taking control of our own emotions we frame right attitude and behavior in our children
- Play it out
In a time when your kid faces intense feelings which he may not know how to handle, or you notice a negative pattern developing, the best remedy is to step in with a game. Just start to play.
Try converting the situation into a game settings. In a game, a kid has a superpower and easily can fight and defeat any monsters 🙂