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How to Cultivate Emotional Intelligence in Children?

You, as parents, always try to find out ways and means to raise your children into responsible and mature human beings. To achieve this, you often keep an eye on their company, ensure they play with good children, and send them to the best schools known to you, hoping that good marks and a good education will help turn your kids into successful human beings. Basically, all the time, the focus is on their intelligence quotient. But how do you ensure that your children have the right Emotional Quotient or Emotional Intelligence? But what exactly is meant by these terms and how many of us really understand the true meaning of them?

In simple language, EQ or Emotional Intelligence reflects the emotional maturity of a person. This indicator tells us about how emotionally mature a person is.

It is not difficult to cultivate emotional intelligence in children. Just start with these steps.

Empathy – The quality to perceive another person’s pain or happiness is called empathy. Does your child relate to others on this quality? Do they try putting themselves in other people’s shoes to understand a particular situation? If the answer is no, then it is time to instill this quality in your child!

Developing empathy is not a 2-day job. If you want to see that your child empathizes with others, then start with yourself. Learn to appreciate the other person’s view. However, it is important that your child watches your behavior. Kids base their personalities and behaviors seeing their parents. The second point is that your empathy should be deep-rooted, it should be natural. Only then will your child realize the importance of empathy.

But, how do you demonstrate your empathy while dealing with the kids themselves? For example, how would you react when your child tells you that he/she has failed in the class test? Will you shout and curse, or will you try to understand the emotional trauma that your child is undergoing? In this case, understand that your child is also equally hurt and needs to be consoled. Connect with his/her emotional state rather than judging. Just go along with the flow, don’t point fingers. Whatever has happened has happened and there is no point fretting. Instead, encourage your child to do better the next time.

So, how does empathy help your child? According to neuroscientists, being empathetic to your child makes him/her relax. Empathy leads to the supply of soothing bio-chemicals in your child’s brain which leads to your child being a happier soul. Children who grow up with empathy ultimately become perceptive and successful leaders.

Expression – How often have you stopped your child from screaming and crying real hard? Very often, perhaps?

Unfortunately, we don’t realize that by doing so we are stopping them from expressing themselves. As parents, we emphasize more on socially acceptable behavior. But, by trying to make our children socially acceptable, we are limiting their development.

For example, if one of your children has an argument with the sibling and starts shouting, do not scold the child to stop the drama. We think that the child is ‘shouting’ but all that he or she is doing is expressing himself or herself. Your ‘errant’ child is actually venting out the emotions. Asking the child to stop right away will simply block him/her from expressing the emotions that he/she is experiencing at that very important. If you try to repress this emotional outburst, the child will try to find an alternate outlet for the anger elsewhere. He/she may even turn destructive in this case. The best way out is to help your child know and understand the better ways to put across emotions. Do sit with them and talk with them patiently. This will help them vent out their emotions and anger and will calm them down.

Listening – Many times it so happens that we avoid listening to our children while we are busy with our cell phones and laptops. While in a hurry to finish off the important task at hand, we often ask them to stay mum and intentionally or unintentionally tend to ignore them. This is one of the biggest mistakes we do as parents.

If we want our child to develop into an emotionally intelligent person, we must listen to them each and every time they wish to talk to us and that too patiently and carefully. Probably, the problem might be very small but all that your child wants is a set of patient ears. Your kid wants your undivided attention. In such a situation, let him/her speak whatever he/she wants and ask genuine questions. Who knows, the child might also be trying to tell you something serious?

Many researchers say that kids basically do not want their parents to solve trivial problems; all they want is a willing audience. So the next time when your child approaches you with a small problem, listen patiently and let your little one know that he/she is the most important asset you have.

Problem-solving – While giving attention to your child is important, it is also crucial that you do not spoil them by jumping in every matter and solving even the minutest problems for them. This behavior isn’t going to help your kids but rather will only hamper their growth and development. Such kids tend to become highly dependent on their parents and others for problem-solving. To make your children emotionally intelligent, encourage them to solve their problems singlehandedly. Yes, it is a natural urge in the parents to help their children, but sometimes it is ok to wait on the sidelines and watch the kids cope with their problems. This adds to the confidence levels of the children and helps them grow into mature and responsible adults. Problem solving and empathy go hand in hand.

To conclude, there are various ways by which parents can help their children become emotionally intelligent human beings. Such mature children become effective and successful leaders later in their lives. Emotional intelligence is the cornerstone of human success in all spheres of life.

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