Emotional Intelligence – H&S Education & Parenting
Emotional intelligence EI also referred to as EQ or emotional quotient is defined as the ability to understand as well as use and manage your emotions to not only communicate and empathize with others effectively but also to alleviate stress and overcome difficulties on a day to day basis. This in turn helps your child make informed decisions, build lasting relationships, succeed at school or work and achieve his/her goals. Simply put, your child’s emotions are a means for his/her brain to connect, communicate and help them survive. Teaching your child to recognize her/her emotions and help him/her express them in a healthy way is therefore important and it is only with practice that your child will be able to self-regulate his/her emotions.
The 4 Components Of EI:
- Self-management- The ability to control impulsive feelings & behaviours and management of one’s emotions in a healthy way. This helps you to follow through with your commitments as well as to adapt to any changing circumstances.
- Self-awareness- The ability to recognize and understand one’s emotions and how they affect one’s thoughts and behaviours. This allows you to recognize and know your strengths and weakness and have self-confidence.
- Social-awareness/Empathy- The ability to have empathy and understand the emotions and needs of others. This allows you to pick up people’s emotions and feel socially comfortable.
- Relationship Management/Social Skills- The ability to develop & maintain good relationships. This allows you to manage conflicts, be a good team leader and player.
The Importance & Benefits Of Emotional Intelligence In Children
IQ alone is not enough to be successful even though it may get you into a college, for instance. A child can be academically brilliant but socially inept and as a result, he/she is thus unsuccessful in his/her relationships be it personal or at work.
1. Higher The EQ, Higher The IQ- Emotional intelligence affects a child’s performance at his/her school or in his/her adult life at work. Thus the higher the EQ, the higher the IQ, this can help your child succeed in his/her career as it helps him/her with the social aspects of life.
2. Improved Physical & Mental Health- EQ also affects your child’s physical as well as mental health. If your child, for instance, isn’t able to manage his/her emotions there are chances he/she won’t be able to also manage their stress which can have an impact on both physical and mental health.
3. Build Better Relationships- It’s no mystery that EI helps build better interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships. Only if you know your emotions and are capable of controlling them will you be better at expressing as well as understanding how other people feel. This is important for your child to communicate effectively and build lasting relationships both personally and at work. Also being in tune with one’s emotions is needed for social functioning. Your child’s social intelligence connects him/her to the world around him/her.
Tips To Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child
1. Know & Acknowledge Your Child’s Emotions- It’s important as parents that you understand and are sensitive to your child’s emotions. Once you are aware and know the emotion executed, only then will your child know how to recognize their feeling. You can also help by labelling the emotion correctly whether it’s anger or joy.
2. Be Empathetic- If your child is upset don’t ignore the feelings even if they are a bit on the dramatic side as this will have a negative impact on your child. As a parent, it’s important to listen to your child, be sensitive and validate your child’s feelings by showing empathy.
3. Teach Acceptable Ways Of Expressing Feelings- Let your child know what’s ok and what’s not as all emotions are and should be acceptable but not all behaviours. The best way to teach this is by practising it yourself. Using words that convey feelings in your daily conversations such as ‘I am happy when we have dinner together’, is the best way to teach your child how to cope and express his/her feelings appropriately.
4. Encourage Problem-solving- Once you have been able to identify the emotion it’s important to learn how to work through to manage and fix any problems your child may be facing. A part of building EI also involves learning how to solve issues. If your child, for example, is sad that they didn’t get to visit their friend’s, help them find ways to solve this issue such as perhaps video calling, or rescheduling for another time, and then help them pick the best option by going through pros and cons of each. Your child may make mistakes but don’t make the decision for them let them decide and once they come to a certain decision you can then help them work through it. Guidance is imperative but it’s also important that your child can work through the problems on their own.
5. Nurturing EI Should Be An Ongoing Goal- Just as IQ must be grown similarly EI must be worked on and improved. There will be different challenges along with their growth and hence it’s important to incorporate EI as an ongoing goal. Talk about emotions and better solutions for a particular issue. You can do in an age-appropriate way. So if your child is small then by using characters from a storybook and when your child is older using real-life situations to tackle feelings.
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