How to develop the EQ of your child
Parents have a vital role in the emotional development of their children. Parents can help their children learn how to express their feelings through instructing, modeling, and guiding them in applying the skills of emotional management. As a parent, helping children with their feelings can both help them feel better and reduce behavior problems. Children who are able to manage their emotions often experience more positive feedback from others and are more successful in everyday life.
The five main domains of emotional intelligence:
1. Knowing one's emotions
- The ability to recognize and to monitor feelings from moment to moment.
2. Managing emotions
- The ability to handle emotions appropriately and to soothe oneself.
3. Motivating oneself
- The ability to motivate oneself and persist in face of frustrations.
4. Recognizing emotions in others
- The ability to know others' feelings and to take others' perspective.
5. Handling relationships
- The ability to notice, interpret, and respond to emotional and interpersonal cues.
Tips for Parents
1. Managing parental emotions
- Self-awareness is fundamental to emotional management. Try to be more aware of your mood and your thought about the mood. You can attend to your child's emotional needs more effectively when you are in good psychological health yourself.
- Stay positive and optimistic.
- Learn to relax and try to apply stress management skills in everyday life.
- Plan lifestyle changes to cope with stress. Schedule pleasant activities that you would participate in, such as going to a concert, going out for a walk or going to the park.
- Take time to be with your spouse. Spend time with each other to pursue an activity or interest.
- It can be rejuvenating to schedule time for yourself for self reflection. Parents who are feeling overwhelmed could benefit from seeking out active support from other family members, friends or mental health professionals.
2. Be sensitive to your child's feelings
- Observe your child's behavior and really listen to your child. Tell your child what you think he feels like or restate the feelings he expresses when he is not able to express his feelings adequately.
- Encourage your child to express his feelings verbally.
- Be sensitive to both verbal and non-verbal cues of your child such as facial expression, gesture and tone of voice.
- Accept your child's feelings, including negative emotions.
- Support your child when he is frustrated and distressed.
3. Practice being aware of and expressing emotions
- Increase your child's vocabulary so that he can identify and express different feelings more adequately.
- Teach your child to understand and express emotions better by discussing feelings related to daily events, demonstrating and modeling the expression of feelings.
- Encourage your child to take others' perspectives and help him understand others' thoughts and feelings. One strategy is to read story books with your child and to discuss the feelings of the characters and the situations in which the characters are involved.
4. Listen to your child
- Be empathetic to your child's feelings.
- When your child is frustrated and distressed, try to reflect his feelings verbally and to paraphrase what your child says so that he knows you really understand him.
- Avoid being judgmental and critical. Avoid giving advice prematurely when he tells you about his troubles.
5. Provide your child with opportunities to solve problems independently
- Help your child handle mistakes and failure. Ask what he can learn from his mistakes.
- Guide your child to evaluate his own problem-solving strategies. Help your child identify problems associated with inappropriate strategies such as acting out through defiance, aggression, or emotional outbursts.
- Encourage your child to utilize effective problem solving strategies. Try to recognize the problem and to plan a course of action to solve the problem.
- Generate ideas to solve the problem, think ahead about the consequences of the solutions and choose the best plan of action.
- Encourage your child to evaluate whether the plan is effective and to think of alternative ways to solve a problem.
6. Spend special time with your child
- Engage in activities that you and your child enjoy doing together. Make an effort to be involved in your child's activities and interests.
- Schedule 『special talk time' to talk with your child about what he is experiencing and going through. Routinely discuss feelings as events occur every day. Try to get your child to talk about what he is doing, what his interests are, how he feels, about problems that he may be experiencing, and about successes he may have had recently.
7. Give encouragement and positive feedback
- Acknowledge your child's accomplishments and strengths. Look at the small good things you child does and give positive feedback.
8. Realistic expectations
- Accept your child and promote your child's strengths. Help your child work up to his potential.
- Focus on your child's effort rather than outcome.
- Help your child set realistic goals and follow effective steps to achieve his goals
9. Teach your child desirable social behaviors
- Model and demonstrate positive social behaviors with your child observing.
10. Building good interpersonal relationships
- Encourage your child to participate in group activities and to build up his sense of belonging.
- Help your child improve his social skills in real social situations.
When handling your child's negative emotions:
- Accept your child's feelings. Avoid attributing your child's emotions to his negative intent. If you assume your child's misbehaves on purpose, you are more likely to blame and punish. Your child is then more likely to blame himself, which might lower your child's self esteem over time.
- Guide your child to take effective action to cope with negative emotions such as anger and frustration. Tell your child that he needs to solve the problem that made him feel upset. Ineffective problem-solving can lead to many future personal and social problems.
- Take a break and stay calm when you are angry or overwhelmed. Try to be more aware of your negative emotions and thoughts while interacting with your child. Parental stress can lead to disruption of parenting. Take care of yourself in order to be available to meet the needs of your child.
The foundation of emotional well-being is the ability to understand and express one's own feelings. Self-awareness is the keystone of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can be nurtured and strengthened in all of us. To help enhance children's self-awareness and emotional management, the guidance and model of parents are essential.