5 Tips to Up your Child's Emotional Intelligence

5 Tips to Up your Child's Emotional Intelligence

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 23 Jul 2015 - 13:24

child-mother

I heard a parent say “my child scores top marks in his class, he is very intelligent, and I have no worries about his academic performance. My only worry is that, he does not mingle with other children, stays aloof and does not play like other kids. He gets very upset and gets emotional for simple things. I wonder how to change his behavioral pattern to a more positive and a happier one.”

This is something most parents complain in the current day scenario. Blame it on their hectic lifestyle, or lack of interaction with other kids, or thrusting the child with video games to free the parents at work, or pressurizing the child to study all the time - be it any other reason, simply the child is not getting the attention from the parent he/she deserves, in the crucial growing years. 

Differentiating IQ from EQ: Here, the child seems to have high IQ (Intelligence Quotient) but no EQ (Emotional (Intelligence) Quotient). IQ is a measure of human intelligence and an assessment of a person’s ability to think and reason. EQ is a measure of intelligence in dealing with emotions of his/her own and other’s. Interpreting others’ emotions correctly, reacting appropriately to those emotions and expressing his/her own emotions positively, are some ways, a person’s emotional intelligence can be assessed.

Nurturing emotional intelligence should begin from the time your child learns to express/talk and it begins at home. "Family life is our first school for emotional learning," writes Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  IQ or EI, which one is more important? While both are required for an overall balanced personality, certainly, EQ turns out to be crucial for a more successful life, be it relationships or career

Here are some tips to up your child’s emotional intelligence:

1.       Knowing the Child's Emotions: Being aware about your child’s feelings, empathizing with your child’s emotions, and guiding them to understand their own feelings, helps the child to be more emotionally intelligent. Most children learn their emotions from their parents, including controlling impulses, motivating themselves, reading other people's social cues, and coping with life's good and bad situations.

Acknowledge the child’s feelings but not necessarily agree with the child’s behavior.  By feeling he/she’s understood the child feels soothed, because of the soothing bio-chemicals that trigger to calm him down (when he/she’s understood), and this helps the child have his/her own perspective and help deal with it better as he/she grows.

2.      Allowing Expression of Feelings: It’s important that the child express his/her emotions rather than not speak about it. Holding up the feelings is not good for the child. But this does not mean the child can throw tantrums, behave violently or irresponsibly to a situation. Teach the child to express emotions but with appropriate behavior and language.

3.      Identifying Emotions: Teach the child to understand and identify emotions, whether its anger, sadness, anxiety or urge to have something instantly. They can behave very irritably for simple things and feel uncomfortable, not knowing why they are feeling that way. Help them to know their emotion and the reason for it. This helps them know that a particular emotion brings a certain kind of discomfort and it should be overcome by letting go or dealing with it. Eg.If the child wants a toy right away, and it can’t be given, the child should be taught to wait, or understand he cannot get it for whatever reason. So reasoning helps the child to handle emotions better.

4.      Finding Solution to a Problem: Many a time we notice the child getting stuck in a problem, when he/she cries or asks for help. While it is natural to intervene and solve the problem for the child, it is important to help the child think through the problem and find out if there is an alternative to addressing it. This way the child will learn problem solving by thinking of an idea to get over it, rather than depend on someone to solve it for them.

5.      Playing a Role Model: The best way to teach our children is to start with ourselves. The child learns better from observing than being told. So, handling various situations with dignity, fairness, using good language, showing patience are some of the good qualities that a child will learn to imbibe and model this behavior instinctively rather than being told to behave in a particular manner. In behaving consciously especially in the presence of your child, it helps you as a parent /guardian to reflect on your own behavior too and learn to handle your own emotions.

 

Reference: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by Gottman John

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.