### Parenting Expert Reveals 6 Key Traits of Emotionally Intelligent Children

Emotionally intelligent children excel in expressing their emotions. Picture Credit: Canva

Parenting plays a crucial role in nurturing emotional intelligence in kids, which significantly impacts their happiness and success. Reem Raouda, a certified Conscious Parenting Coach and the founder of The Connected Discipline Method, conducted a study involving over 200 children to explore this aspect. Her insights, featured in an article on CNBC, highlight the six essential behaviors exhibited by children with high emotional intelligence.

  1. Proficiency in Interpreting Non-Verbal Signals

Reem emphasizes that these children possess a remarkable ability to discern others’ emotions by observing their gestures and facial expressions. For instance, they might comment, “Mom, Sarah seemed quiet today. When I asked her to play, she declined. I think she might be feeling sad.”

How to cultivate this skill: Engage in reflective dialogues with your child about their day, encouraging discussions about the emotions they noticed in people around them. These conversations enhance their emotional perception and boost their confidence in understanding others.

You could inquire, “How do you think your classmate was feeling today?”

  1. Display of Empathy and Compassion

These children not only recognize others’ emotions but also demonstrate genuine concern and offer assistance. For example, during a playdate, if your child notices their friend feeling dejected after losing a game, they might approach them and say, “You played really well! Would you like to try a different game together?”

How to nurture this skill: The most effective way for parents to instill empathy in their child is by modeling it themselves. For instance, expressing worry about an unwell neighbor conveys empathy and prompts action, like checking in on them for any assistance needed.

  1. Proficiency in Identifying and Expressing Emotions

Children with high emotional intelligence excel at articulating their feelings. When your child expresses, “I feel frustrated because I can’t solve this puzzle,” or “I’m happy because I helped my friend repair her toy,” they are acknowledging and communicating their emotions effectively.

How to develop this skill: Encourage the practice of labeling emotions, both for yourself and your child. By normalizing discussions around emotions, you create a conducive environment for your child to express their feelings openly.

For instance, you could say, “I feel disappointed that I misplaced my keys,” or “I’m slightly overwhelmed by the workload ahead.”

4) Adaptability

A child’s ability to adapt to changes in routines or respond calmly to disappointing news reflects emotional maturity. For instance, if an outdoor picnic is canceled due to rain, instead of getting upset, a child with emotional intelligence might suggest, “Oh, it’s raining. Let’s have an indoor picnic!”

How to foster this skill: Modeling flexibility and composure in the face of unexpected situations sets a positive example for children. Encourage your child to participate in problem-solving by brainstorming alternative solutions.

You could involve them by asking, “What do you think we could do instead?”

5) Active Listening Skills

Emotionally intelligent children excel at picking up subtle cues that others may overlook. When you share your experiences with them, they actively listen, tuning into the emotions underlying your words. They ask relevant questions, displaying genuine interest.

How to enhance this skill: When your child narrates a story, offer them your undivided attention. Maintain eye contact, pause other activities, and align yourself with their eye level. Reflecting and paraphrasing their words demonstrates attentive listening.

6) Self-Regulation Abilities

Children with emotional intelligence can manage intense emotions, remain composed during challenging situations, and make sound decisions. For instance, when faced with losing a game round, instead of reacting impulsively, a child adept at self-regulation may pause, gather themselves, and re-engage positively.

How to nurture this skill: Demonstrating self-control by avoiding outbursts or overreactions is pivotal in encouraging this trait in children. Introducing techniques like “pause and breathe,” where the child learns to take a deep breath or count to ten in stressful moments, can be beneficial. Modeling this behavior reinforces the importance of handling adversity gracefully.

By showcasing resilience in tough times, parents provide a lasting lesson for their children.