Emotional intelligence (EQ) comprises our ability to understand our own emotions and also read, understand and empathize with other people’s emotions and reactions.
Experts believe that emotional intelligence is an important skill to have, especially to succeed in today’s world. Some psychologists are of the opinion that success is made up of 10 to 25 percent of intelligence quotient (IQ) and the remaining is made up by EQ.
If EQ is so important for succeeding in life, shouldn’t we be teaching our children to be emotionally intelligent too?
Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children
Just like the saying that charity begins at home, EQ should start at home too. The starting point for developing EQ is by becoming aware of your own emotional strengths and weaknesses and your ability to handle different emotions. This quality is naturally present in everyone, but it might need some polishing in some.
The main factors associated with high EQ is the ability to tune in to yourself, manage emotions, stay motivated through life’s ups and downs, being empathetic to people around you and developing good social skills.
Children often don’t know how to deal with different emotions and might express it through tantrums, constant crying and anger. The first step, though a slightly difficult one, is to teach them how to handle these varying emotions.
Here are some tips for raising emotionally intelligent children:
- Children tend to learn and copy from their parents, so practice emotional intelligence and set a good example in front of your children. Provide them with examples of how you personally handle everyday situations like being stuck in traffic for an hour or dealing with a tough boss.
- Teach them how to be empathetic to others by providing examples and remembering to show empathy, in front of them, to someone they know too.
- Help your child understand and deal with the many feelings and emotions that might come up on a daily basis; it could be anything from the joy of meeting their best friend after a long weekend to the fear of attempting a difficult test.
- Make your child understand that you are always available to have a conversation in the face of any ordeal. You could even schedule one or more slots during the week to catch up on the week’s happenings.
- Teach your child the importance of pausing. Children and many adults can be impulsive and that can lead to many wrong decisions and inappropriate reactions to certain situations. So, teach them how to pause and take a breath before saying or doing something, just to make sure that they are taking the right action.
When trying to raise an emotionally intelligent child, don’t forget to drop in praises at the right occasions, respect your child’s decisions and choices, encourage them to be more social at school and outside and make sure you spend time with them reading books or playing their favorite games, to create a mutual bond of understanding.
Benefits of teaching children to be emotionally intelligent:
Studies have shown that children who are emotionally intelligent may get better grades, have a better ability to understand and cope with emotions, calm themselves on their own and even understand others well. Their high EQ might also help them build stronger friendships, succeed in school and in their future workplaces and enjoy a better quality of life.
Since emotional intelligence seems to have so many benefits, it might be wise to consider incorporating it into your own lives and to your children’s to have an overall better life for all.
Pascual, P. (2018, January 20). Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, Ages 6-12. Retrieved from https://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/children-s-health-10/child-development-news-124/raising-an-emotionally-intelligent-child-ages-6-12-646613.html
Sauer, M. (n.d.). 8 Signs You’re Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children. Retrieved from https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/relationships/emotionally-intelligent-children/
Kadane, L. (2017, May 08). EQ vs IQ: Why emotional intelligence will take your kid further in life. Retrieved from https://www.todaysparent.com/kids/kids-health/eq-vs-iq-why-emotional-intelligence-will-take-kids-farther-in-life/