How do you teach your kids emotional intelligence?

17 May 2019
Raul Powell

Before teaching children about emotional intelligence, one needs to know what the terms exactly mean. Emotional intelligence is the ability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others. It is also about finding out the difference between different feelings and labeling them appropriately.

Using emotional information will help you in guide thinking and behavior, and managing and/or adjusting emotions to adjust to environments or to achieve one's goal.

Why Should Parents be the First to Teach the Kids?

For parents, teaching their kids how to take care of themselves is a difficult task. But, more importantly, they should teach their kids emotional intelligence to make them capable to cope up with various social aspects of human society and human interactions.

It will also help children to express his or her emotions. Teaching such things to your children might seem easy, but it is the whole different scenario and completely different from the daily scenarios of taking care of a child. You may not be an “expert,” but with experience, you can build up your confidence.

Families Should Be the Primary Source of such education.

What Should be the Role of the Teachers and Schools?

Your kids may learn English and science in the classroom. They can learn how to write a business proposal or assignment writing. But, how about school’s teaching emotional intelligence to students? Educational institutions are responsible for teaching kids emotional intelligence.

emotional intelligence

This responsibility falls on the households, or to be more specific, parents. Families can teach a child about emotional intelligence better than any institutions or teacher.

Hence, the first and foremost requirement to teach children about emotional intelligence is family. Keeping a child with a babysitter and spending most of the time on work can have a negative impact on the child which indirectly forbids them to learn emotional intelligence. If you are curious you could try doing an emotional intelligence test to understand the current level of your child. 

What Do the Experts Say?

“We have to look at emotional intelligence as art and science just like we teach kids math or spelling –we can’t assume kids know these skills,” says Dr. Shimi Kang.

Dr. Shimi Kang is a Vancouver-based psychiatrist and parents herself.

Tips for Teaching Emotional Intelligence to Your Kids

It’s a must for a parent to teach their child about emotional intelligence as soon as they are born. Responding to them crying, laughing with them when they laugh, playing games and communicating with them is helpful as it makes them comprehend the mediums of sharing emotions. It also helps them adjust to various functions and norms of society as a whole.

Kids with learning disabilities will get benefitted a lot if their parents help them develop such intelligence. We are talking about disabilities like dyslexia, dysgraphia, and others. 

Wondering about how to improve emotional intelligence? Here's how you can teach it to your kids -

  1. Allowing expressions
  2. Acknowledging the child’s perspective and empathize with them
  3. Acknowledging the child’s feelings
  4. Teaching kids to give back
  5. Allowing them to make mistakes
  6. Teaching kids resiliency and to look at the big picture
  7. The education of optimism and gratitude
  8. Teaching kids how to manage their emotions

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Children with higher emotional intelligence develop faster. In schools, teachers choose students with intelligence as they will not only be able to perform well but will also be better equipped to read workplace situations.

emotional intelligence

Furthermore, students with higher emotional intelligence get along with their fellow students, collaborate and solve problems better. It also creates a better environment for personalized learning too.

The most powerful way a parent can do is accepting the child’s emotions. One important thing to remember, you should always create a safer environment while you are teaching your kids. 

In addition, it is also necessary to provide them with the tools they require to manage those emotions by themselves.

Final Thoughts

Emotional intelligence is “being smarter with feelings.” It is a powerful set of learnable skills that can transform an individual to become more aware, make better choices, and be more purposeful. According to various reports, parents are the most important people to teach these life skills to their kids.  If your emotional abilities aren't developed, it may be difficult for you to be self-aware and to manage your emotions. You can't have empathy and have meaningful relationships, no matter how smart you are. And even if you do, you won’t go very far.

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