Emotional intelligence is a type of intelligence that cannot be measured by IQ tests, yet it is just as important as any other type of intelligence. It helps us approach different situations in a healthy, mature manner, and it helps us empathize with other people. This is why it’s important to help your child develop this kind of intelligence, as it can help them socialize with other kids, understand different situations, and express themselves more clearly.

What is it and why is it important?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to notice and understand different emotions as well to react to them in an appropriate and effective manner. It consists of five basic parts – self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

One of its main tasks is determining how we’re going to respond to certain situations, especially the less pleasant ones. For example, if your child has attention or learning issues, they might feel embarrassed about not being able to solve a certain task around their peers. They might react badly if, after hours of studying, they still get a bad grade. This type of intelligence can help kids in such cases by allowing them to see things from a more objective perspective. For example, it could help them realize when they are getting frustrated, consider what would happen if they throw their books at the wall or start yelling and think about a better way to deal with their frustration – talking to their parents or teachers and explaining how they feel, for instance.

Emotionally intelligent kids would also be more likely to ask both their parents and their teachers for help with studying. This way, by thinking about their emotions and controlling them, they are more likely to succeed in their efforts.

How do you improve your child’s emotional intelligence?

What helped me the most was my own degree in psychology, as well as the fact that I became a nlp practitioner before my children were born. It helped me understand myself and my own emotions as well as find the right way of expressing them – and then teach my children how to do the same. However, you don’t need a degree in order to improve your child’s emotional intelligence. The only things you need are persistence, patience, and love.

Talk

You should encourage them to talk about their feelings openly. If you see that they are sad or angry, ask them if they’d like to talk about it. Also, don’t dismiss their feelings, and don’t tell them that “it’s not a big deal”. Empathize with them and show them that you understand them.

 Listen

Next, don’t just encourage them to talk – teach them how to listen as well. For instance, you can show them how to express their emotions in words by expressing yours. That way, you would teach them not just how to express themselves but also how to listen to others.

Moreover, introduce them to different ways of handling their frustration; encourage them to use their words instead of throwing things around, and ask them if they would like to have some time alone to calm down. Also, children are known to imitate their parents, so if you ever find yourself feeling angry or sad around your child, make sure to remain calm and in control.

Management of emotions

You should teach them how to solve their emotional problems as well. For example, you can write down a list of possible solutions together, and you could ask them what they would do the next time a similar situation happens. This way, they would be able to look back at that conversation the next time they get frustrated and react differently. In addition, you should teach them some positive self-talk, so they can make themselves feel better even when you are not around.

Again, all these things serve to teach your kids how to recognize different emotions and react in a more appropriate and less destructive manner when something doesn’t go well. By being able to do so, they will have a much easier time communicating with their teachers, friends, and relatives. They will also feel much better about themselves because they will know that failing in something is not the end of the world and that the best way to achieve success is to stay focused, patient, and persistent.

When it comes to improving your child’s emotional intelligence, the most important thing to do is remain patient and not give up. Not everybody is the same; some kids learn fast, while some may need a bit more time to understand what you’re asking of them and change their behavior. However, if you give your child enough time, have no doubt that the results will show sooner or later.

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About Author

Isabel F. William

Body & Mind Balance Consultant. Lover of literature and philosophy, runner, and Tai Chi master. She believes that sometimes it is just enough to enjoy a really good book, smooth jazz and a cup of coffee to travel somewhere else.

5 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing. I have 10-year-old twins who sometimes seem to remind me what good EQ looks like. Example: there is a running club every morning at their school, and (naturally) incentives to get kids to participate. They have a friend who gets a tummy ache if she runs too hard, so they’ll slow down and walk with her to keep her company and make sure she feels okay. There is the part of me that wants to encourage them to try their hardest and continue running—get that energy out and set goals to get a good run in. And then there is the part of me that appreciates the value of being a good friend and being there for someone. So I try to suppress the competitor in me, and say how much that must mean to their friend. And somehow still remind them that it’s also okay to also run on a day that you really need to get that morning exercise.

    I will say that for the most part, their EQ is in a good place. But there are two things that we struggle with. One is social skills when speaking with strangers—speaking up and looking people in the eye during introductions, for example. (I think it’s a common struggle, but still one that modeling behavior doesn’t seem to influence… and of course I don’t want to embarrass them or shame them into a forced interaction either. I keep waiting for it to happen and give gentle reminders when we’re home, but so far, it’s still not coming naturally to them.) And the other is self-regulation. Again, I think it’s normal, but it would be great to see if you have any tips specifically on that. 🙂

    Of Love + Light,
    Alana
    (Found you through A-Z. Also posting A-Z over at http://www.ofloveandlight.org)

  2. It is a good thing that psychology is making such rapid strides. Nowadays psychologists have so much insight into the mental well being of children and adults. I remember the days when advances in psychology were just taking their baby steps. Great article.

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