Parents want to raise intelligent kids. But what kind of intelligent are we talking about? Our standard for intelligence may just be dependent on academics. Here’s the truth: academic intelligence is not the only thing that matters. Sure, some children may be getting all the attention and recognition in school but what about their relationships with others? Eventually, as they grow older, emotional intelligence—the ability of a person to deal with emotions in relation to their environment—will be just as important.
Make sure to put importance on developing your child’s emotional intelligence by observing these simple hacks.
#1 Be compassionate
When your child is dealing with negative emotions—be that sadness, frustration, or anger—don’t take it against them. Connect with them by being compassionate and try to understand why they’re feeling that way. Talk to your child about their feelings and always make your presence felt. Modelling this behaviour is more likely to make your child do the same thing.
#2 Teach them how to cope
You’ve succeeded in connecting with your child. Now, you’ll have to teach them how to cope. Always resort to positive ways of coping such as relaxing, breathing, or doing creative activities. These teach your child effective ways to process their feelings instead of keeping them in or worse, deflecting them on other people.
#3 Nurture their problem-solving skills
One day, your child will get into trouble and you may not be there to protect them. The best you can do is to enhance their problem-solving skills by asking relevant questions about their feelings and the consequences when they decide to act on those feelings. For example, ask them what they will do if a friend hit them or if they fail an exam. From there, you will be able to gauge your child’s capacity to deal with negative feelings brought by negative emotions.
#4 Listen, listen, listen
Do not underestimate the value of listening especially when it’s your child who needs you. When they’re feeling something, allow them to talk about it—no holds barred. Let them open up to you so you can understand them better. Listening to a child will make them comfortable expressing themselves as they grow older. The best thing about this is that they too, will most likely become good listeners for other people.
#5 Do not punish them
Never punish a child for feeling the way they do. This will form resentment within them and they may not open up to you anymore. Children who can’t open up to their parents for the fear of being judged or punished may become secretive, unexpressive, and timid adults.