Emotional intelligence, or EI/ EQ, is the ability of an individual to understand and manage emotions – of their own as well as others. While IQ is important for academic success, EQ is also equally important for happiness and fulfilment in life. As a parent, it is critical to help the child build emotional intelligence from a very young age. In this article, we will share with you some strategies and ideas to help you with this task.
Catch it and name it
Children often face difficulties in identifying the emotions they go through on a daily basis. Parents can help the child by teaching them about naming emotions. Next time when your child is upset, instead of consoling them with them : “How are you feeling?”. This simple statement will encourage your child to express their feelings using words. Introduce the name of the feelings by asking them: ” are you angry? sad? frustrated?” etc.Giving labels to emotions will help the child to understand and manage them better.
Be the change you want to see
Modelling is a powerful technique to help the child learn things faster and easier. Parents can model EQ by regulating their emotions in front of a child. Practising coping techniques in day-to-day scenarios helps the child to learn faster.
Empathy Empathy Empathy
Empathy is being in someone’s shoes and understanding their perspective. Encouraging your child to empathise with others will help her maintain great relationships in life. If your child talks about a friend who is upset, ask her: “How do you think you’re friend will be feeling right now?”
Being a listener
Encourage your child to practise active listening by modelling it. Teach her body language, look into her eyes while she speaks, and repeat back what you heard/understood. This will help the child improve her listening skills drastically.
Praise the child whenever she exhibits acts of emotional intelligence. If they handle a difficult situation well, appreciate her for her actions and encourage her to practise more.
Teaching your child to think about solutions to a problem instead of thinking about the problem itself, will help the child to learn and manage their emotions well.
To summarise, emotional intelligence is a critical skill for kids to develop to be successful and happy. By helping the child develop their emotional intelligence, you can help them have a brighter future.