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Why helping children develop emotional intelligence is important
You’ve all heard of IQ, the intelligence quotient, and heard many stories about how important it can be for academic success, as well as real-life situations. Yes, this is true, but sometimes, it’s equally or even more important to talk about EQ.
Apart from logical intelligence, there’s also emotional intelligence and this one is very important in life as it enables us to interact with others in a proper way. No man is an island and that’s why EQ is essential not only when it comes to social life and personality but at work, as well. Studies show that people who have high EQs are more likely to be successful in their jobs, as well as to have leading positions.
So, when it comes to your child, are you able to look at their EQ objectively? It’s hard, but also necessary. You need to be able to address problems and potential and you need to be the one to stir them in the right direction. So, can a child be taught to be emotionally intelligent? Absolutely. Luckily, contrary to IQ, EQ can be increased and it’s up to you to do this, on your own or with the help of experts.
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Teach emotion recognition
First of all, your child should be able to identify the emotion they’re feeling. Many parents make the mistake of not teaching their children to recognise emotions which often results in miscommunication and bad social interaction. It’s not easily recognisable which is why many parents don’t notice what’s happening before elementary school. By that time, it’s too late for them to handle it on their own and they have to call psychologists to help. This is why you need to focus on this as your key mission when it comes to your child’s EQ and help them understand and know the emotions they feel. They can draw or talk about them. You could have emojis at home and place them adequately on a board in order to practice this.
How we do it
The empathic approach is the method we most often recommend for small children. They are put in hypothetical situations and asked how they would feel until they realise what they did was wrong. Of course, this can be done even when kids don’t do anything wrong, it’s a good exercise anyway. It’s easiest to start with their favorite fictional characters. This will motivate them to participate and make it easier to empathise. When it comes to adolescents, methods like online therapy services frequently show better results than traditional ones.
This approach is recommended to troubled teenagers who are refusing to connect on face-to-face therapy. This way, they can send a message to their therapist, and talk to them whenever they feel like they need to – it’s just like chatting with friends or using social networks. It is getting more and more popular in t gets results, because adolescents don’t feel pushed to go and talk.
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Recognize the mood and feelings of others
Of course, your child needs to know their own emotions, but recognising emotions of others is sometimes equally as important. It is expected of you to act according to the general atmosphere of the place you’re in. This is why you also need to teach your child to “feel the room” and act and react in a certain way depending on what the mood is. In order to practice this, take your child to different places and discuss the issue at each of them. You should do this for as many places as you can in order to give your child the best examples and teach them well.
Show your emotions and teach problem-solving
In order for your children to learn, they need to have a role model and the first and most powerful role models are parents. That means that you should talk about your emotions to your kids, too. Tell them about the good and the bad. Talk about problems you have at work or with your friends focusing on the emotions you feel and what caused them. After that, try to figure out how to solve the issue without anyone getting hurt, yet still effectively and fairly. This will help your child see how feelings are completely natural and that everyone battles the same issues when it comes to emotions and conflicts. It will also motivate your child to share their emotions and potential problems with peers which will finally contribute to a more solid parent-child relationship.
When you think about it, emotional intelligence is quite important. It’s easy to see that it actually represents the key to having good relationships, both at work or in your private life. This also means that the consequences of not having a properly developed EQ can be catastrophic. This is why you need to do your best to teach your kids to be emotionally intelligent and you mustn’t feel any shame if a need for an expert’s help arises.