While most of us are focused on raising kids with a high Intelligence quotient, what we often forget is to assist a child in his Emotional Development.
Phsychological studies have declared that a high Emotional Quotient in a pre requisite for leading a content and successful life.
Intelligence Quotient of an individual defines his cognitive abilities, his problem solving skills, and his capacity to apply knowledge in various situations. In contrast, the Emotional Quotient involves –
SELF-AWARENESS To know one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognize their impact on others while using gut feelings to guide decisions.
SELF-REGULATION Manage or redirect one’s disruptive emotions and impulses and adapt to changing circumstances.
SOCIAL SKILL Manage other’s emotions to move people in the desired direction.
EMPATHY Recognize, understand, and consider other people’s feelings especially when making decisions
MOTIVATION Motivate oneself to achieve for the sake of achievement.
The other day I was with my nieces’ the older got hurt because of the younger one. She made it her mission to make the younger one cry. Now there is no blame game here. Solutions are all we need.
Here are a few factors parents and teachers must keep in mind to raise kids with high EQ.
Help your child name emotions
Help your child recognise his emotion by naming them correctly. Whether your child is happy, elated, overjoyed or angry, frustrated and disappointed, allow him to take ownership of his emotions. In my classroom I would ask my students to draw, in their notebook, a face expressing how they felt. A child would scribble an extremely happy face after he came back from the play session. At another time one would draw a sad face because he lost his pencil, an angry face because her friend snatched her book. With younger kids you can keep faces with different emotions ready and ask your child to pick how he feels. This way you will not only help a child chalk out his own feelings but also how they affect others.
Express your emotions
A child may fail to listen to you but he will never fail to imitate you. How well you are able to express and control your emotions is intrusmental in your child’s emotional development. If you are angry say it to your child that you are angry or frustrated and state the reason for the same. Your child may have triggered your anger but do not blame the child.
Talk and listen
If your child says he is scared, it would be of greater help to validate his emotion and hear his fears, instead of declaring there isn’t anything scary about the situation. Discuss feelings and emotions as they arise. A lecture on how one should feel would not help because every individual reacts differently to different situations.
Every feeling is unique and valid. As parents and teachers we need to respect a child’s reaction even if our opinion about how he should feel differs. If a child throws a tantrum in public, or feels frustrated and angry, he needs your compassion and love to know you empathise with his feelings. Being able to understand him then, will support your child to move through the feelings and restore back to a state of balance and peace.
I believe books are not just a child’s best friend but the best teacher. Read books with rich stories that evolve around different characters who feel diverse emotions. Talk about how the characters feel, express, react, think, decide and solve problems.
Play it out!
Play is the best form of learning for a child. A child can experience and explore a different range of emotions through play. You can create games that allow talking about feelings. You can use hand puppets, dolls, soft toys, animals etc to act out different scenarios.
Helping your child build emotional intelligence now will allow him to experience a content life at personal as well as professional front. And more importantly he will be able to build strong and connected relationships now and later in life.