We’ve all heard of IQ but have you heard of EQ or Emotional Intelligence Quotient? EQ is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions while empathizing with the feelings of others. A healthy EQ enables adults to manage work and home conflict, manage fear and anxiety, and relate emotionally to others – all the basic skills needed to have a happy, healthy life. Psychologists now feel that EQ is more important than IQ in determining your child’s quality of life as an adult. To help your child develop a strong EQ try these five suggestions:
Acknowledge the perspective of your child and empathize. Empathizing doesn’t mean you agree – it simply means you see his or her perspective and acknowledge it even if your child doesn’t get his or her own way.
Allow expression. Denying your child’s negative emotions won’t make them go away – it just buries them to burst out later. Teach that while their feelings are understandable,some actions that result may be unacceptable.
Listen to your child’s feelings – .be truly present and actively listening and show your child that it’s safe to express those feelings to you and then let them go.
Teach your child the tools of problem solving. Show your child that strong feelings may signal areas that need to be handled differently. Empathy alone isn’t enough – teach your children that they’re not at the whim of their emotions by encouraging problem- solving to handle the situation differently the next time.
Help your child release strong emotions through play.Young ones of all species use play to process feelings and fears. Help your child express feelings through play. Sometimes when words fail, strong feelings can be “played out”.
Click here for a colorful printable poster, 5 Steps to Managing Big Emotions, from Childhood 101.