Being a responsible parent is a tough job. Parents have the obligation to teach and guide their children, understand their behavior, and prepare them for a bright future. Parents encourage children to be smart, intelligent, and confident to win the race of life. But is this sufficient?
Sometimes parents skip on teaching a very crucial life skill that matters most in life ahead. And that’s emotional intelligence. Many of us have come across this term but do not understand its meaning clearly. Let’s first understand the meaning of emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is the ability of people to recognize, express, and manage their own emotions as well as those of others. Emotional intelligence helps individuals by guiding their thinking process, behavior, and adjusting emotions as per the environmental situations.
Sometimes children act in an unusual manner and as a parent, you might react indifferently to the situation. There’s always a reason behind behavior. But unfortunately you may never try to understand the whole picture behind it. This may negatively affect the mental health and performance of your children.
Benefits of teaching emotional intelligence
A child who can recognize and express emotions in healthy ways can develop better social relations. EI helps children to respond calmly in difficult circumstances. Many studies have been conducted to prove the benefits of emotional intelligence for children and teens. Here are a few ways that prove this point that EI serves well for your children throughout their life:
Emotionally intelligent children have better social ability and develop successful interpersonal relations in society.
Emotional intelligence helps children achieve better academic growth. A higher level of emotional intelligence is related to high IQ and children perform better at tests.
Emotional intelligence improves psychological well-being among children and makes them strong for adverse conditions.
Highly emotionally intelligent children grow better negotiating and social ability that leads to success in ahead.
Tips to raise emotionally intelligent children
Children can learn emotional intelligence at any phase of their childhood. As a parent, it is your duty to teach them this critical life skill. We have listed few best tips for parents to raise emotionally intelligent children:
Listen and encourage conversation: Connect with your kids by listening to what’s happening in their life and have meaningful conversations.
Introduce emotional words to label emotions: It is important for your children to recognize their feelings. You, as a parent, can help them by introducing words for the emotions they are feeling, such as happy, shy, angry, or sad. This would help them understand and express their feelings.
Be a role model: Children would learn emotional intelligence better when they observe you sharing and expressing your emotions with them throughout the day.
Accept and encourage children to express emotions: It is necessary for parents to approve your child’s emotions, ask questions about how they are feeling, and show empathy. If your child is upset because of an argument with a friend, listen and understand why they are feeling so. Rather than teaching them to repress their feelings that would lead to aggressive behavior at some point, teach them to express emotions in a positive way. This will encourage them to react reasonably rather than going rogue.
Teach skills to manage emotions: Children also need to learn to deal with their emotions in a healthy way. Teach them how to react when faced with unfavorable situations and stay calm. Showing impulsive responses is not a good habit and they should always think before acting. Set some boundaries on their behaviors when experience emotions. For example, if they feel angry ask them to sit, drink water, and take deep breaths to calm down.
Instigate problem-solving skills: You must also train your children for solving the problems at hand. Help your child understand the problem and then finding possible ways to fix it. This will be helpful for them in the future and they would see and manage problems logically.
Parents focus and emphasize only on children’s learning about the world but they must also develop critical life skills such as emotional intelligence, growth mindset, critical thinking, and more. Your children will grow old and they are likely to face few obstacles throughout their life. Teaching emotional intelligence in childhood will help them grow better. With your guidance and continued practice of emotional intelligence, you can help your child develop mental strength they would need to succeed in life.