As a child grows up, parents and schools often focus on ensuring s/he performs well in the subjects of math, science, and language and any other activities that constitute part of the curriculum. However, doing well only in education is not what life is all about.
Emotional Intelligence plays a vital role in one’s life. It is essential in shaping them into the individual they will grow up to be. The child should understand the signs of their parents’ anger when s/he does not perform well or his friend’s sadness of losing a favourite toy; they need to be aware of all these. That suggests a high quotient of emotional Intelligence.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence refers to the ability to be smart about their and other peoples’ feelings. It involves being able to notice, understand and act on emotions in an effective way. In simpler words, EI can influence the emotions of other people also.
Components of Emotional Intelligence
The concept of Emotional Intelligence is nothing new. It has been doing around for decades. In 1995, the term gained popularity by the book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Daniel Goleman, the author, described EI have five basic parts. They are:
The ability to be aware of his/her feeling at a particular time. S/he has a clear understanding of how his/her moods may affect others.
The ability to control his/her feelings and know how to respond to his/her emotions. S/he considers possible consequences before acting on impulse.
The ability to accomplish the set goals despite getting negative or distracting feelings.
The ability to understand how others feel.
5. Social Skills
The ability to manage relationships. S/he knows well what kind of behaviours may get a positive or negative response from others.
How Can You Help Your Child Develop their Emotional Intelligence?
The best thing about EI that it is not taught. Your child can develop it with help and practice while growing up. With practice, children improve their capability for emotional self-regulation. By the age of four, most kids start to use strategies to eliminate disturbing external stimuli. And, it takes the age of 10 for children to use more complex strategies for emotional self-regulation consistently. The strategies can be broken down into two simplistic categories:
- Those that attempt to solve the problem
- Those that attempt to tolerate the emotion.
However, it can be a long and tedious task for weak kids in this area due to their learning and thinking differences. Many schools worldwide offer social and emotional learning (SEL) programs that teach kids to be aware of emotions and act on them effectively.
Here are few experts recommended tips for your help.
Do have a look over them:
Acknowledge the Emotions of Your Child
Help your children understand what they are going through. You can help by labelling a name according to their ‘shown’ emotions. For example, when your child is upset after losing a game, you may say, “It seems like you are disappointed right now. Do you agree with that?” Emotional words like “upset”, “angry”, “shy”, “disappointed”, and “painful” can all create a vocabulary for expressing feelings. In addition, introduce positive emotional words such as “joy”, “excitement”, “enthusiasm”, and “hope”.
Whenever your child is upset or disappointed, it can seem a little dramatic – it can be tempting to downplay how it feels. In such situations, rather than making derogatory comments that can make them feel that how they feel is wrong, validate their feelings and show empathy towards them. If your child is crying because you asked them to clean their room first and then play, say something like, “I feel bad when I do not get time to do something for myself.” This would impact their thinking, and they would soon learn to understand how they feel on the inside, and they will feel less compelled to show you how they are feeling through their behaviour. So, instead of screaming and crying to show their anger, they will feel better when you have made it clear that you already understand their emotion.
Develop Your Child’s Problem-Solving Abilities
Many children do not react properly, they may behave incorrectly, and not everyone can accept that. Help your child master their feelings by developing problem-solving skills. Restrict their expressions to the appropriate behaviour. To do this, you have to help your child set goals and generate likely solutions to achieve these goals. The steps of emotion coaching can either happen quickly or may take a great deal of time. You have to be extremely patient.
Encourage Your Kid
Children cannot readily control their impulses and emotions. This is why, if your child is used to throwing things around, and one day. All this plainly describes that s/he is extremely angry; instead of scolding, hug him/her and let him/her know that you are proud of the fact that s/he communicated and did not unleash his anger in throwing things.
Practice a Non-Zero Sum Game
Let your kids learn early in life that each decision is not a winner-loser. There may still be win-win options. Teach them to compromise in some situations, which can only be initiated following clear and calm communication.
Determine their Motivation
To develop your child’s Emotional Intelligence, you need to look at your child’s behaviour and understand what keeps him or her going. Speak to them on these lines focusing on what works in this regard. You can make him realize that it is good to continue to try despite the failure and help them use their emotions to achieve the goals he has set in his mind.
Teach Positive Affirmations
For any parent, it is not easy to be around every time to help or encourage your child in doing things; kids would have to start doing things independently by themselves as well. Make your kids understand that they can use positive self-talk to manage their emotions better and keep their focus and motivation throughout the process.
How do you teach EI to your kids? Do let us know in the comments.