Helping Children Develop Emotional Intelligence in Small Steps

When stress levels are high, helping children to manage their emotions is more crucial than ever. Here are six professional pointers that parents can take to help their kids out in developing emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is a subject that parents are often not as meticulous as they should be when helping and teaching their children.

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Emotional Intelligence or EQ stands for emotional quotient and is synonymous with emotional intelligence, is associated with better grades, higher retention rates, and healthier lifestyles among young people. In other words, developing Emotional Intelligence in our children has real-world benefits.

Most parents are dealing with these changes head-on, juggling their jobs as caretakers, employees, and now teacher’s helpers all at the same time. We’re all on high alert. Even some of us may think we’ve reached the limit.

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Is it possible to keep going? Precisely what can we perform to assist our young people in developing the mental and emotional strength they need to come out on the other side, not only sane and healthy but perhaps even mentally and emotionally more potent than before this all started?

Recognizing, regulating, and expressing our emotions are the first steps in developing Emotional Intelligence. That’s precisely what we need right now. Using empathy, compassion, and self-awareness to align our behaviors and ideas better can be a powerful tool for everyone.

Construct an Agreement for the Whole Family

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Begin your journey toward a more emotionally aware family by ensuring everyone is on the same page about why and what success looks like. You can draft a “family charter” that lays out the rules for dealing with disagreements within the family and the outside world.

When everyone is on board from the beginning, the road to success will be less bumpy, and collective accountability will be easier to establish. The Yale Center prepares a sample family charter for Emotional Intelligence that can serve as a good starting point.

Savor the Meta Moments.

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Taking a meta moment is a healthy response we can teach our children when the world seems frantic, chaotic, and spinning out of control. Stop, take a deep breath, identify what you’re feeling, and imagine how you’ll respond to the circumstance in the best way possible.

We are all at risk of getting emotionally hijacked these days by the constant barrage of stressful situations around us. In times of significant stress and uncertainty, teaching our children to take meta moments can help them, and the rest of the family be more resilient. To help children better understand meta moments, Yale University has created a visual explanation.

Emotional intelligence should be modeled.

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As much as we try to explain to our children what emotional intelligence is and why it is so essential, there is no better way to show them the genuine impact of EQ than by demonstrating it ourselves!

You can demonstrate empathy, compassion, and self-awareness regularly. Emotionally intelligent behavior is more likely to be emulated and benefited by children when they see it in action.

Honor the Emotional Intelligence of Your Child.

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Reward and praise a child’s first signs of emotional intelligence. Rewarding positive behavior is significantly more effective than reprimanding negative ones in helping children to develop Emotional Intelligence. Recognize EQ milestones the way you would celebrate a sporting or academic achievement. 

Also, don’t forget to congratulate your children when they exhibit acts of kindness, empathy for others, or just a greater awareness of their feelings.

Students returning to school in person or via distance learning is an entirely different experience for most families in the new school year. We’ve never faced a difficulty like this before, whether navigating Zoom lessons or socially distancing ourselves in drastically re-configured school buildings.

Allow yourself to feel what you feel.

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Emotional intelligence does not imply ignoring or suppressing bad feelings, which is something children should grasp early on. There’s nothing wrong with feeling angst, anger, or melancholy if you have a high EQ. It means that you can identify and handle such feelings healthily and productively.

Children need to know that it’s okay to feel the way they do, but we can also teach them that there are other methods to deal with unpleasant emotions than lashing out. There are times when a child needs to know that they can rely on their parents. And the rest of the family for emotional support. You can facilitate that sharing by creating a family charter.

Look back and re-examine

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Finally, regularly keep an eye on your family’s progress toward greater emotional intelligence. It would help if you revisited the family charter to see where success has been made and places where improvement is needed.

This should be an enjoyable occasion to highlight your emotional Intelligence (EQ). Give specific examples of what you mean so that others might learn from your mistakes. Keep the momentum rolling, that way, you will be helping your children in stablizing their Emotional Intelligence.

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Also, the “ruler method,” which stands for recognizing feelings in oneself and others, comprehending the causes and consequences of feelings, labeling emotions accurately, expressing feelings appropriately, and effectively regulating emotions, is an easy way to recognize the elements of being more emotionally intelligent.

The brutal truth is that many of our kids are breaking right now. Despite the upheavals in their lives, they’re doing their best to balance school, family, and personal responsibilities. It’s common for youngsters to need to vent their frustrations when they get home from school.

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Because kids often feel most secure at home, their families may bear the brunt of the stress. All that kids need is some guidance on handling their emotions and creating the resilience to help them generously throughout their lives. Emotional intelligence can accomplish this. As we teach our children about emotional intelligence, we become more emotionally intelligent ourselves. This is a beautiful thing.