As a parent, one of your biggest priorities is raising happy, healthy, and successful kids. The actions you take while your child is young can influence their future in many ways. One positive step you can take to ensure their future wellbeing is helping them master emotional skills contributing to their emotional intelligence or “EQ.” Read on to learn more about EQ’s benefits and how to foster it in your child.
Recognize the Value of a High EQ
Emotional intelligence is becoming increasingly recognized as an important asset in all kinds of fields, from the creative arts to the business world. For example, according to American Express, research shows that business leaders with a high EQ tend to make better leaders. Beyond the working world, people with emotional intelligence can find greater success socially. Being able to tune into your own emotions also makes it easier to connect with others and their feelings.
Here are seven ways to boost your kid’s EQ:
Teach your kids to communicate emotions in a productive manner
The first step in promoting a high EQ is teaching kids to identify and communicate their emotions. Start by creating a safe space at home where little ones will feel comfortable sharing. RedFin explains how you can cleanse bad energy from your house, for instance by smudging it. Next, establish a set process for identifying and talking about your kids’ feelings. Start by naming an emotion and then discuss how to productively express it.
Engage in active listening when talking to your kids
When you talk to your kids about their feelings, you want to make it clear that their emotions are valid and matter. Otherwise, you run the risk of them shutting down and not wanting to share in the future. Towards this end, make sure to practice active listening when discussing these heavy topics. VeryWell Mind recommends making eye contact with your child, avoiding interruptions, and paraphrasing what they’re saying. Additionally, show interest by asking follow-up queries.
Use real-world opportunities to practice emotional communication
Talking about feelings is just half the battle. You also need to help your child put what they’ve learned about emotions into practice. Look for real-world opportunities to challenge their EQ whenever possible. For example, sports are a great way to teach impactful lessons about controlling feelings. Inevitably, your child will lose a game when participating in sports. Teaching them how to lose with grace and dignity can benefit them at any age.
Get your childcare support network involved
You aren’t solely responsible for your child’s upbringing. You probably have people who help, like your partner, babysitter, teachers, and family members. Enlist their support in helping to build your child’s EQ. For instance, when you have a parent-teacher conference with your child’s teacher, know what questions to ask. In addition to asking about academic issues, inquire about behavioral problems. You need to know what happens outside the home.
Find resources online to help raise your child’s EQ
If you’re struggling to teach your child basic lessons to build emotional intelligence, there are many resources available to help. EQuip Our Kids! offers online tools for free. There are also children’s books, television shows, and movies that can help demonstrate the importance of emotional control in a way kids can understand. Don’t just consume such media passively. Talk to your little one about it to make sure they are recognizing the lessons.
Serve as a positive role model by regulating your own emotions
Remember that your child is always watching you. You are their biggest role model. Act accordingly. If you get angry about small things, your child will think this is okay and may mimic your behavior. Instead, master your emotions. ZenBusiness provides tips to help. For example, if someone hurts your feelings, remember that hurt feelings are an indicator of how much you care. This knowledge can help you keep your reactions in check.
Remember to make time to just have fun
While it’s great that you want to teach your child positive lessons to master emotional skills, you don’t have to make every moment of the day into a learning opportunity. Make sure to leave time to just have fun. Play games, dance, and get silly. This will help you maintain a bond with your child. A strong connection with your little one will ensure that they are able to come to you whenever they’re struggling with their emotions. You can then help them navigate feelings in a healthy way.
Watching your kids grow up and discover the world around them is one of the most exciting parts of being a parent. Of course, you want to give your child all the tools possible to navigate their life’s path successfully. Teaching them emotional intelligence can help.
For more resources designed to help kids boost their emotional intelligence, see our online resources and online store.
Written by Carrie Spencer