Nurturing Your Children’s Emotional Intelligence
Apr 6th 2016
Because your little Einstein is more than just brains.
If you’re like most parents, you’ll know that IQ is acclaimed as an important aspect of your children’s lives as they grow into adulthood. But there’s more to your little one than just their intellect alone. Just as much as parents focus on brains, they should also emphasize emotional intelligence.
What is emotional intelligence
According to Psychology Today, emotional intelligence is described as:
The ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include three skills:
- Emotional awareness, including the ability to identify your own emotions and those of others
- The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problems solving
- The ability to manage emotions, including the ability to regulate your own emotions, and the ability to cheer up or calm down another person
This is a critical characteristic in children as it allows them to sympathize and empathize with others. Their ability to do so will effect their lives as they continue to grow. It will help determine their ability to form and retain friendships, share, and consider others as significant as themselves which is an important attribute in children.'
Here are some ways you can nurture your children’s emotional intelligence.
1. Empathize with your child
By hearing out your child and empathizing with their point of view, they will understand that you value their perspective. This will not only build the bond between you and your child, but it will also teach them an important lesson. They’ll see that it’s not only important but also valuable to invest time in those around them, to hear their worries and complaints, to celebrate when another person expresses their joy, and to understand that others around them have emotional needs that they can help fulfill in a healthy way.
2. Embrace their personality
If it wasn’t already obvious, each child has his or her own personality. That’s why, even though children can be raised with the same rules and experiences, they might grow into entirely different people and there’s nothing wrong with that. So, instead of forcing your children to be a certain way to meet societal expectations, nurture your child’s personality. Allow them to experiment and grow into themselves. Let them learn and grow in ways that make sense to them and their personality.
3. Develop and grow their temperament
At the same time, help your child outgrow some of the challenging aspects of their temperament. If your child is bossy, teach them ways to be a leader while keeping others’ feelings in mind. If your child is considered a “cry baby,” teach them ways to not take everything to heart and allow them to express their emotions in a healthy way, such as through the arts. This can help ease the tension their sensitivity may cause while offering them a healthy form of expression that doesn’t harm others’ feelings.
4. Teach them to play fair and take turns
Whether they’re leading a game or they’re taking turns playing a certain game, teaching your child the importance of playing fair, being honest, and taking turns will teach them the valuable lessons of patience and kindness. And it will help them build lifelong, lasting friendships!
Helping foster your child’s emotional intelligence is an intelligent choice parents can make to help their children develop into strong adults with healthy attitudes. Noticing your child has been extra kind and using their manners recently? Why not treat them with a super special treat — like an outdoor trampoline! It’s a great tool for teaching them to share and play nice.