In a constantly changing and evolving world, teaching children about emotional intelligence is more needed now than ever.
Emotional intelligence and the act of being civil goes beyond just being kind or polite to someone; it also involves having an open, listening patiently to conversations, learning to disagree and finding common ground respectfully.
This will help your child openly deal with their emotions instead of hiding them and making them more problematic. Furthermore, it will also help your children to nurture the act of being civil within a crowd.
And the best time to start teaching about this valuable soft skill is when they are young and ready to learn. Even then, the topic of emotions can be complicated for a child.
That’s why we’ve put together a quick guide on how you can teach emotional intelligence in children. So without further ado, let’s get started!
3 Ways To Teach Your Child About Emotional Intelligence
The road to emotional intelligence is not a simple linear path. To make this easier, we have divided the topic of emotional intelligence into three categories, and they are as listed below:
- Talking through perspective
- Problem-solving skills
With this guide, you can start slow by covering each topic one at a time!
Talking Through Perspective
When your child is young, they will often group and play with other kids of the same age. Therefore, there are bound to be a few interpersonal conflicts that need to be resolved immediately.
Without emotional guidance, your child may blurt out rude comments without thinking about the other’s perspective. And most of the time, your child’s assumptions about the other might not even be accurate.
To solve this, here are a few tricks you can try.
Start Reading Together
What better way to learn about emotional intelligence than by delving deep into books! By reading with your child, you can go at your own pace and ask your child various questions.
For example, you could ask them how they think a character in the book feels. You could also ask them to identify the signs and discuss in detail why they might be feeling the way they do.
Start To Point Out Another’s Reactions
In a social setting, ask your child to look at other people and decode their emotions. This might be an uncomfortable activity for them. Still, it is the fastest way to learn about emotional intelligence.
Talk About Your Feelings
By the end of the day, start to talk to your child about the emotions you felt from the moment you woke up till the moment of discussion.
Keep in mind to share both the negative and positive emotions as this will help them normalize all feelings and develop a sense of empathy for others.
In layman’s terms, empathy is an ability that lets you understand and connect with another person’s feelings. Having an empathetic nature will help your child to practice healthy, clear communication and positive relationships.
Moreover, it will also help your child stand up for others when and if bullied.
If you have mastered talking through perspective, you might have already started talking about each other’s feelings by the end of the day.
If your child has had a bad day, start empathizing with them by saying phrases like, “oh no!”, “you sound/look like you have had a difficult day”, “Uh oh!” and so on.
By responding to their emotions with empathy, you will teach your child how to understand another person’s emotions to be more empathetic towards them.
Problem Solving Skills
Last but not least, we have problem-solving skills.
Whether your child has been the victim of bullying or is the bully, they tend to fall short of the essential problem-solving skills.
On the other hand, the children who recognize problems and avoid them tend to have stronger problem-solving skills. This is because they can easily bridge the gap between a specific action and its consequence and quickly develop solutions.
To make your child emotionally intelligent, try the following methods:
Be An Empathetic Listener
The best way to identify a problem is to listen to your child when expressing their thoughts and emotions. Always remember to communicate and empathize.
Keep in mind to also validate their experience to let them know they are understood.
Teach Them To Label Feelings
Instead of telling your child how to feel, help them learn how to label their own emotions and feelings.
Set Boundaries And Limits
A child learning to express their emotions is always a good thing. However, there also needs to be a few limitations for this.
For instance, you could say, “It is okay to feel the way you do, but what is not okay is acting out because of it.”
By setting limitations, you will be controlling their behaviour while also offering different solutions to resolve the problem in a calm, respectful manner.
When your child is equipped with emotional intelligence, they will be self-aware, respectful and reflective.
By teaching your child talking with perspective, empathy and prepping their problem-solving skills, you will be able to get them to understand how their words and actions can affect other people around them.
This, in turn, will help them be more confident in a challenging situation, and you can count on them to resolve it in a peaceful, problem-free way.