Tips to Increase Emotional Intelligence in Children
It is the responsibility of every parent to encourage kids to develop their intelligence. While most of the efforts of parenting focus in increasing the academic intelligence, it is not the only type of intelligence that matters all the time.
Emotional intelligence helps kids, and everyone for that matter, to develop an ability to manage and express their feelings properly while also respecting the feelings of others. Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that children should start learning at an early stage to grow up as responsible and caring adults. Here are some parenting tips to increase emotional intelligence in children.
Label Their Emotions
Labelling kids’ emotions will help them to recognize their feelings. So start putting a name to the child’s emotions by understanding their feelings. If they have lost a game with their sibling, ask them if they are feeling ‘angry’ or whether they are ‘disappointed’ over a cancelled visit by their grandparents. Labelling their emotions will further help in building their vocabulary and kids can express their feelings well at home and at school too. However, do not forget to teach them words for positive emotions too.
It can be tempting for the parents to sympathize to minimize the way kids feel when they are upset. Instead, show some empathy to validate their feelings and make them understand that you are aware of how they feel. If you have told your kid to complete homework before going outside and she doesn’t comply; tell her that it is sometimes hard to keep working when you don’t want to. This will make the kid feel that you are understanding them and will stop her from screaming or crying to show her feelings.
Model Appropriate Behaviour
In order to make kids learn to behave appropriately, parents need to inculcate good behaviour themselves and better ways to express their feelings in front of kids. Kids learn most of the things by watching their parents’ behaviour and are likely to become aggressive and scream and throw things if they watch their parents do so. Focus on building your own emotional skills too to be an effective role model for your kids.
Teach Healthy Coping Skills
Once the kids are able to understand their emotions well, they should also be taught about coping with them in a healthy way. It is very hard to teach kids to calm down by themselves and parents can help them overcome this situation by teaching them to practice to calm down using anger management techniques like taking deep breaths or bubble breaths to make it more funny. Help them create a calm down kit that includes colouring books, soothing music or joke books so that she can engage her senses to calm down.
Teach Problem Solving Skills
Kids face a lot of difficulties every day ranging from academic difficulties to those in the sports field. However, very few have the right formula to solve their own problems. Kids who do not possess problem-solving skills try to rather avoid the situation and lack taking action when they are faced with a problem. As much as they try to avoid the issue, they may become more isolated as they will start avoiding people and find it difficult to maintain friendships. Teach them to identify and evaluate the problem and find at least more than two ways to solve a specific problem and the consequences with each. This will lead to a discussion which will in turn help in making the right decision next time.