As a parent, answer the following question truthfully. How often have you kept aside the thought of your child doing well in academics, and focused on their emotional growth? We know the answer deep down.
As our child is growing up, we are entirely engrossed in ensuring that he/she does well in school, sports and chooses the right career path. We give importance to learning languages, dance, and music. We want their Intelligence Quotient (IQ) to be the best of the lot. However, we often forget that life is not all about doing well in subjects.
Emotional intelligence plays a significant role in shaping children. It determines what kind of individual they will grow up to be. So, it’s time we stop ignoring Emotional Quotient (EQ) and learn how we, as parents, take an active role in developing our child’s EQ. And why only children, Emotional Intelligence is important for individuals of all ages and at all times.
What is EQ?
The ability of an individual to understand his own emotions, as well as others, constitutes emotional intelligence. People who have high emotional intelligence are adept at noticing how emotions affect others and understand the motivations behind their actions. This helps them become thoughtful and caring individuals.
Why is it important for your kids?
In today’s world, children in the same house use texts to communicate with each other instead of a face-to-face interaction. They prefer TV shows to books. They are always on their phone, which means they do not observe their surroundings and people. Instead of getting together to study and exchange notes, they create WhatsApp groups. They do not go out to play; instead, they connect with each other through video games. We have let ourselves become so engrossed with technology that we are lost behind the glowing screens. At a time like this, prioritizing EQ becomes vital. It helps your child:
- Develop self-awareness: Instead of being confused about why they are feeling what they are feeling (anger, stress, depressed), higher emotional intelligence will help a child get to the root of their issues and aid them in addressing it.
- Empathize with others: Children who are able to connect with their emotional side can empathize with others in a similar situation and be more understanding of their predicaments.
- Build life-long relationships: Instead of the flaky relationships that we witness among teenagers today, having higher EQ will help your child forge strong relationships, and improve their social skills.
What you can do?
Here are a few tips to help develop your child’s EQ.
- Empathize, listen, communicate: The first step begins at home. When they come to you with their problems, don’t wave away their issues. Your empathy goes a long way in helping them understand healthy human emotions. When your children feel safe enough to express their emotions, you help them trust their own emotional process so that they can handle their own feelings without tantrums or repression.
- Encourage human interaction: Make an effort to actively engage in conversations with them every day. Monitor their screen time, take part in more outdoor activities, encourage them to meet friends outside of school, and teach them the value of face-to-face interactions.
- Teach better ways to channel emotions: Experiencing frustration and anger is natural, but we need to teach them how to channel it. Try to get your child involved in a physical activity, get them to focus more on their hobbies, etc.
- Calming down on their own: You won’t always be around when your kids face an issue. Teach your child to breathe through the issues, sit on it without reacting immediately, and, once they are calm, solve the problem.
- Accept them for who they are: Do not make unfair comparisons between two kids- whether siblings or friends. No two children are the same. Your acceptance and empathy will go a long way in developing their emotional intelligence.
- Take up our Essential Skills coaching: Renaé’s Emotional Intelligence workshop helps you understand and harness the power of your EQ. With our Essential Skills coaching, you can learn the skills you need to build an incredible social and professional life. Read more about our essential skills program here