When you consider how parents can benefit from strengthening their children’s emotional intelligence (EI), it becomes clear that this is a win-win situation. This process enables you to build a stronger relationship as a parent and child because you can make your child feel supported.
Aside from that, you might encourage your child to open up and share their feelings with you, which creates an environment where you can openly communicate. In turn, you might be able to sustain your healthy relationship with your child as they grow older while they develop a high EI.
The following tips can help you develop your child’s emotional intelligence:
Prioritise Childhood Education
Emotional intelligence is a skill that anyone can learn at any age. However, it’s best to start early in life when children are still developing their sense of self. The earlier you start building this skill with your child, the easier it will be for him to establish his emotional intelligence later in life. Thus, you must look for an early childhood center to help build your child’s EI.
As you browse a preparatory school within your locality, ensure that the classes will encourage students to interact with each other. Aside from that, these subjects must be able to offer activities that will help develop your child’s interpersonal skills through group projects and interaction with peers beyond class hours.
In addition, you should look at the school’s curriculum to ensure that it fosters an environment where students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts. Once you check these items on your list, you can prevent your child from developing a fear of judgment when speaking in front of others.
Observe Your Child’s Behaviour
If your child is struggling with emotional skills and self-regulation, you may be wondering what you can do to help. One of the best ways to support your child is by observing their behaviour and learning how to work with it. This method enables you to understand their strengths and weaknesses, which you can use in identifying patterns in their day-to-day lives and as a basis for change.
When observing your child’s behaviour, notice whether they’re upset or happy to give you an idea of the situations that trigger certain emotions. For example, if he seems angry after playing with his friends on the playground, he may feel frustrated when things don’t go his way in that setting. However, if he gets mad after eating lunch at school but not when he eats dinner at home with family or friends, then it may be something about the canteen environment that makes him feel upset.
After identifying these factors, talk to him about it and find out why he feels that way. This activity will allow him to express his feelings and help him understand that there are ways to deal with those emotions other than bottling them up inside until they explode out of control later on.
Teach Them Values
You can strengthen your child’s emotional intelligence development by teaching them these six values:
- Self-Awareness is the ability to recognise their feelings and label them appropriately. For example, if you’re angry or sad, you can name it as such without making anyone else wrong for what they’re feeling.
- Self-Management is the ability to control impulses to achieve long-term goals rather than seek immediate gratification. For example, resisting the urge to hit back when someone hits you or saying ‘no’ when asked to do something risky.
- Social Awareness is the ability to read other people’s emotions accurately to know how others are feeling at any given moment. For example, being aware that someone doesn’t want to talk about what happened at school today because they’re upset about something there rather than trying to make them talk about it.
- Emotional Control enables your child to manage and control feelings positively. For example, they can calm down after becoming upset about someone taking a toy without asking.
- Emotional Management allows your child to regulate their emotions effectively so that they don’t interfere with daily life. For instance, they can focus on schoolwork even if they’re sad about something earlier that day.
- Relationship Management enables your child to form healthy relationships with others based on mutual respect, empathy, trust and caring. For example, they can ask someone upset if they need a hug or let them know they care about them by asking what they need right now.
While the above aren’t the only values you can teach, they make for a great foundation in strengthening EI.
Emotional intelligence is vital in children, so as a parent, you must guide them as they strengthen it. Therefore, you must consider these three tips to help create a solid EI foundation for your child.