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.
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. Emotional intelligence will also help children to express his or her emotions. Teaching emotional intelligence to 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 to Learn Emotional Intelligence
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. 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.
“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.
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.
Here are some ways to teach emotional intelligence to children:
- Allowing expressions
- Acknowledging the child’s perspective and empathize with them
- Acknowledging the child’s feelings
- Teaching kids to give back
- Allowing them to make mistakes
- Teaching kids resiliency and to look at the big picture
- Teaching them optimism and gratitude
- Teaching kids how to manage their emotions
The most powerful way a parent can do is accepting the child’s emotions. One important thing to remember while developing emotional intelligence in children is to create a safe environment in which they can express their emotions. In addition, it is also necessary to provide them with the tools they require to manage those emotions by themselves.
Children with emotional intelligence develop faster. In schools, teachers choose students with emotional intelligence as they will not only be able to perform well but will also be better equipped to read workplace situations. Furthermore, students with higher emotional intelligence get along with their fellow students, collaborate and solve problems better.
Emotional intelligence is “being smarter with feelings.” Emotional Intelligence 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.