Everyone hopes their child has a high IQ, but what about their EQ? Emotional Quotient is a term that was first popularized in psychology circles in the 90s. Today, it is becoming well known in homes and classrooms everywhere. Emotional intelligence is basically a way of understanding, recognizing, and choosing how we feel, think, and act. This determines how we interact with others and with ourselves. Nurturing emotional intelligence in your children will help them build a great emotional foundation that will serve them well throughout their lives. Some of this seems to be innate, but there are ways to learn emotionally as well as academically.
Nurturing Emotional Intelligence
- Listen to their feelings: Many times, a child just needs to be heard. You can provide the safe place for your child to express themselves, they can tell when we are really listening. Encourage them to find multiple ways to say the same thing. You can help them learn to communicate with you while you learn how to better communicate with them.
- Let them express their feelings: Emotions such as fear and anger can easily garner disapproval. It is not healthy to suppress these emotions, because they will surface at some point, usually at the most inopportune time. Encourage kids to let them out in ways that don’t harm anyone, like going outside to yell or having a pillow fight.
- Empathize with them: Tell them stories about times when you were feeling the same way. This will help them feel less alone and more understood. For most children, the concept of their parents going through the same experiences as them is inconceivable.
- Teach them problem solving: Teach them to take deep breaths, count to 10 and how to put something on hold until they feel more ready to deal with it. They will take these skills with them through there entire lives.
One company, EQtainment, is producing fun products that make it easy for you to get involved in building your child’s EQ. My boys and I had so much fun playing their board game, ‘Qs Race to the Top’! ($29.99). Q is a sweet little monkey who helps kids learn about and deal with their emotions. The goal is to get to the top of the tree house while interacting and answering questions related to emotions. I have to say, I got a few insights into little nuances of both boys’ personalities that I had not picked up on previously. It required them to practice their listening skills, among other things, such as feeling identification, balance and creative thinking. You can buy the game here, or follow EQtainment on Facebook and Twitter.