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  • Writer's pictureOkeah

How To Boost Your Child's Emotional Intelligence

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

As kids succeed academically, it has become easier for parents to forget about their children's emotional development. In addition to reading, writing, and mathematics, studies show that a child's emotional intelligence is just as important. Additionally, they have demonstrated that kids with strong emotional intelligence have a mastery of the 3 Rs: respect, responsibility, and resilience. When our emotions run high, we say and do things that we wouldn't normally do. And when one is young, this is what he/she does all the time. Emotional self-control being part of a bigger component of emotional intelligence, is the ability to manage one’s expression or experience of emotion.

When kids develop more coping skills, they can now control their behavior as well as their emotions when things don’t go their way. In turn, this makes them happier, more respectful, self-confident, resilient, and responsible. Do you want to raise your child's emotional intelligence? And you’re wondering where to start? Begin with the following five steps:

1. Acknowledge the child’s perspective

Kids can’t differentiate between “selves” and emotions. Therefore, accepting your kid’s emotions is healthier than minimizing or denying them as this conveys the message that some feelings are unacceptable or shameful. Disapproving the child’s anger or fear won’t stop them from having those feelings instead it may force the kid to repress them. Regrettably, suppressed feelings don’t go away like feelings that have been expressed freely; they are trapped inside and are looking for a path out. Because repressed feelings aren’t under a self-regulated conscious, they’ll pop out unmodulated and can only be managed when you teach the kid that these feelings are part of being human thus is understandable. Empathize with your child’s feelings particularly when they are dramatic. A parent should be courageous and dismissive to show their child that their feeling is wrong as well, but their behavior might not be.

2. Teach healthy coping skills and model healthy expressions of feelings.

One of the best ways to help boost your child’s emotional intelligence is by helping them put their emotions into language. Children should learn how to deal with and relate to their emotions. They shouldn’t let emotions lead rather children need to talk about these feelings openly. Kids can do this by starting to identify words that can describe how they feel instead of doing things they shouldn’t.

3. Develop and teach problem-solving skills

Let your child know that all emotions are acceptable, however letting him/her also understand that all behaviors are not, is equally important in boosting their emotional intelligence. How do you go about it? A parent should help kids to cope with emotions by developing the child’s problem-solving skills by limiting expressions to socially acceptable behaviors. Teaching kids how to solve problems is part of boosting their emotional intelligence.

4. Play it out

Playing it out with your child especially when they’re not emotionally high gives them a chance to think and come up with ideas on better ways to respond to different emotional stimuli. What if your sister/friend hit you for no reason? Or What if I punished you for something you didn’t do?

5. Develop a child's emotional intelligence continuously

There is always room for improvement no matter how emotionally intelligent your child seems. Markedly, the child will likely have some ups and downs throughout his/her growth like in the adolescent stage. As long as they grow, they will face some obstacles hence making it an ongoing process that serves them better. Notably, children will only improve their capacity to control emotion by practice. At a young age, say 4 years, a child uses simple strategies to eliminate disturbing external stimuli. For example, he/she covers his/her ears when he/she hears a loud noise or covers his/her eyes when scared. However, as they grow, from the age of ten onwards, they begin to use more complex strategies for their emotional self-regulation. The strategies include those that attempt to tolerate or solve the problem. When young ones can solve/address a problem, they engage in a problem-focused coping approach by identifying the problem and adopting a plan to deal with it. On the contrary, when children deem the problem unsolvable, they learn how to control and tolerate the problem. The two strategies are part of emotional intelligence control that entails awareness, understanding, and the ability to manage and control one’s emotions. Thus, helping our children strengthen their emotional intelligence is a good thing and for the betterment of their social skills.


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