Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand and control your own emotions. It is something that is best learned while you are a child and the skills learned will stay with you for the rest of your life.
In fact, in many ways emotional intelligence is more important than intellect. You probably know someone who is incredibly smart but not very good in social situations. These are the people that should be able to conquer the world but are more likely to suffer from a breakdown as they are unable to control their emotional state of mind, particularly when dealing with extreme stress.
The good news is there are several things you can do now to help your child develop emotional intelligence. They will appreciate these skills in the future.
Types Of Parenting
It can be difficult to educate your child’s emotional intelligence as it has only recently been acknowledged. As a parent, you are likely not to have first-hand experience of being taught emotional control.
You need to identify which type of parent you are and try to become an emotion coaching parent.
These are the parents that don’t see the value in children’s emotions and simply dismiss them.
Disapproving parents recognize emotions but don’t approve of negative ones, so they punish their child for having them. This encourages children to bottle emotions up.
The accepting parent understands children have a complete range of emotions and allow them to express them. But, they don’t offer guidance in behavior or dealing with emotions
4. Emotion Coaching
An emotion coaching parent understands negative emotions are part of life and helps the child through the process. This means identifying the emotion and working out a solution to whatever the issue is together.
Strengthening Emotional Intelligence
The first step is to make sure you have a reputable child care center that is also focused on encouraging communication about emotions and helping children to understand and deal with the issues. This is essential as you need the child care center to be on the same wavelength as you.
As a parent, you will want to identify an emotion as soon as it happens. Simply ask your child about it, such as ‘Are you feeling sad?’
This starts the conversation and tells your child that they are not in trouble. It should encourage them to talk about the emotion.
You can then ask about what caused the emotion. It is essential you et your child talk at this point without putting words in their mouth. It may sound ridiculous but it is a legitimate concern to them and a great teaching opportunity.
You will then be able to discuss how they can act differently to change the outcome or avoid the incident altogether.
Your child will see that recognizing an emotion and working through the issue that caused the emotion will help them to feel better and move on. That s potentially the best education you can give to your child.