Emotional intelligence is defined as “the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ emotions, distinguish between different emotions and sense them properly. Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that you can improve with practice. It is difficult to measure emotional intelligence because of its intangible nature.
In this post, John Asiegbu highlighted 3 ways you can raise an emotionally intelligent child.
1- Label Your Child’s Emotions
Kids need to know how to recognize how they’re feeling. You can help your child by putting a name to her emotions—at least the emotion you suspect your child is feeling.
When your child is upset he lost a game, you can say, “It looks like you feel really angry right now. Is that right?”
Emotional words such as “angry,” “upset,” “shy” and “painful” can all build a vocabulary to express feelings.
2- Model Appropriate Ways to Express Feelings
Kids need to know how to express their emotions in a socially appropriate way. So while saying, “My feelings are hurt,” or drawing a picture of a sad face could be helpful, screaming and throwing things aren’t okay.
The best way to teach your child how to express feelings is by modelling these skills yourself. Use feeling words in your everyday conversation and practice talking about them. Say things like, “I feel angry when I see kids being mean on the playground,” or “I feel happy when we get to have our friends come over for dinner”.
3- Teach Healthy Coping Skills
Once kids understand their emotions, they need to learn how to deal with those emotions in a healthy way. Knowing how to calm themselves down, cheer themselves up, or face their fears can be complicated for little ones.
Teach specific skills. For example, your child may benefit from learning how to take a few deep breaths when she’s angry to calm her body down. A kid-friendly way to teach this involves telling her to take “bubble breaths” where she breathes in through her nose and blows out through her mouth as if she’s blowing through a bubble wand.
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Africa’s Leading Emotional Intelligence Expert| Business Growth Strategist| Author| Certified Project Mgt. Professional