Have you noticed an emotional outburst by your child for something seemingly small? Or seen your child behaving insensitively to people at home or even with friends? These are all Emotional Quotient related indicators.
Emotional intelligence often called Emotional Quotient or EQ is defined as the ability to understand, manage, and handle emotions in a positive way. People with higher EQ are able to build stronger relationships, achieve their goals and tend to succeed at work and school.
Often it is believed that people with high IQs are destined for a life of accomplishment. However, we all probably know people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept; hence struggling professionally. In recent times, scientists agree that higher IQ alone, is not sufficient for strong, successful careers. Even workplaces focus on emotional intelligence training and include EQ tests as part of the hiring process. EQ helps you manage stress which is an inevitable part of the 21st century.
Also read: Tackling Childhood Stress or 4 Tips to start charting your child’s career path
Emotional intelligence affects your performance at school/work, your physical and mental health, and also your social relationships. Since emotional quotient is so crucial, can it be taught or strengthened? The answer is a resounding YES!
A little effort from your side can ensure your child flourishes. Here’s how:
Be aware of your child’s emotions
If you see your child sulking at the dinner table, try to talk to him and find out the reason for his anger. You can say, “Are you disappointed that we did not have noodles for dinner today?” You may be surprised when your child opens up saying he is upset that his team lost the football match. Parents sometimes dismiss children and their emotions calling it a tantrum or making assumptions based on past experience. It is a good practice to let children speak and label their emotions.
Listen and show empathy
Leave aside your chores and listen to your child with undivided attention. Having heard your child’s story, validate her feelings and show empathy. If your child is crying because you tell her she cannot watch TV until she has completed her homework, say something like, “I too feel upset when I cannot do what I want to. It’s hard sometimes but what needs to be done first, should definitely be done first.”
When your child realizes that you understand how they’re feeling on the inside, they’ll feel less compelled to scream and cry to show you they’re angry.
Teach healthy coping skills
Once a child understands his emotions, he needs to learn to deal with those emotions in a healthy way. Knowing how to calm themselves down can be complicated for kids. Teach specific skills for example, ask your child to take a few deep breaths when they’re angry or close their eyes and think of a happy place like an ice-cream parlor. Activities like coloring or humming their favorite song can also soothe their nerves.
You can also discover how to negotiate with children here
Prepare children to increase their reaction threshold
You can introduce new challenges in the form of puzzles, games or tests that mildly disturb the equilibrium for children. They should learn to approach a new challenge with an intent to solve rather than get frustrated early on. This needs to be done in an environment that is not judgmental or negative. These activities will allow children to apply their mind and work towards a solution when faced with a challenge rather than react to the same.
EQ is intricate – from understanding and acknowledging the way we feel, to growing and nurturing our relationships with those around us. Developing emotional intelligence is an ongoing process that deserves due attention!
“When you control your thoughts and emotions, you control everything”
– Marshall Sylver