Raising an emotionally intelligent child is a task many parents want to take on. Raising a child to understand, identify and control the expression of emotions will help them to live a happy life. Here are some great steps to nurture emotional intelligence in your child.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage not only your own emotions but the emotions of other people too. This includes emotional awareness, the ability to use emotions in tasks such as problem solving and the ability to manage emotions. This also includes being able to cheer someone up or calm them down.
Are you emotionally intelligent?
By understanding and being emotionally intelligent as a parent, you will be in a better position to teach your child how to be emotionally intelligent.
Begin when they're young
In order to nurture emotional intelligence in your child, you need to take action whilst their young. Babies intuitively understand emotional intelligence and so you can begin nurturing and developing that intelligence from an early age.
Your child needs to feel comfortable expressing their feelings and the best way to do this is to encourage expression yourself. Be open with your own emotions and develop a level of trust. Any form of emotional repression could be damaging in the future and so you want to have a relationship that is as open as possible.
Once you've encouraged the expression of emotion, in order to nurture emotional intelligence in your child, you then need to listen to those emotions. Acknowledging your child's perspective will go a long way to helping your child to let go of emotions that may be troubling them.
Emotional empathy is a vital skill for emotional intelligence. You will need to teach your child to understand other people's emotions.
Teach problem solving
It can be easy to be blinded by emotions. Teach your child to understand the messages behind different emotions and how to breathe through them in order to begin problem solving. When faced with a situation that can cause emotions to run high, allow your child to work through what they're feeling before harnessing that emotion to brainstorm a solution.
Make it important
The best way to nurture emotional intelligence in your child is to make it a top priority. Emphasis on the importance of emotional intelligence is the best way to ensure your child understands it. There is always a lot of emphasis on academics and it's important not to let that stand in the way of letting your child learn about emotional intelligence.
It's easy for our emotions to get the best of us as parents but keeping them in check as best we can is a strong step in the right direction. When you begin to notice a negative pattern developing, try and see if you can step in with best medicine – playtime.