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As a child is growing up, the entire focus from the parents and the school is majorly on ensuring they do well in science, math, language, and any other activities that constitute part of the curriculum. But life isn’t all about doing well in subjects. Emotional intelligence in young children plays a vital role in sculpting them into the individual they will grow up to be. Your child’s signs of understanding your anger when he doesn’t perform well or his friend’s sadness on losing his pet are all signs that you need to be aware of, indicating the presence of a high quotient of emotional intelligence.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
In simple terms, the ability of an individual to understand his own emotions, as well as others, constitutes emotional intelligence. People with high emotional intelligence are adept at noticing how emotions affect others and understand the motivations behind their actions. Emotional intelligence is measured with EQ, which is different from IQ. An EQ is a measure of understanding multiple aspects.
Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Kids
Emotional intelligence is a key marker in establishing how well-balanced a child will be in his own life and various social situations involving interaction with people on different emotional spectrums.
1. Awareness of the Self
Having high emotional intelligence enables a child to understand their own emotions and know very well why they are feeling a particular feeling or emotion. They can also understand why they feel like committing an action and where that feeling is stemming from. This self-awareness is necessary for understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are.
2. Regulating Your Own Actions
Having developed a good understanding of why a child feels what they do, a kid with good emotional intelligence can then make efforts in correcting their actions and make sure that any impulses that might cause harm to themselves or others are kept in check. They can reason with those feelings and understand that the emotion does not necessarily need to translate into a harmful action.
3. Empathizing with Others
Only a person who can understand themselves well can fully and successfully empathize with others. This is purely because they understand emotions to a profound level. Children who can connect with their emotional side and harness it well can empathize with others in a similar situation and understand their predicaments better.
5. Better Social Skills
Interacting with people and creating good relationships is all a matter of navigating the variety of emotional contours and textures of every individual. Children with high emotional intelligence can grow up to be people who can easily connect with others and hold their identity by being strong social people.
How To Develop Emotional Intelligence In A Child?
There are numerous emotional intelligence activities for kids that you can undertake in order to get them started on the path of being better individuals, ones that have a good emotional quotient.
1. Learning How to be Calm in a Moment of Anger
If you return home after a bad day and something starts irritating you, you can keep your calm and state that you are not in a good mood and need some time to relax and calm down before listening to others. This helps family members being understanding of the situation, too.
2. Communicate Your Feelings
Teach your kid to be open to expressing their emotions, making the home a safe environment for them. Let them be okay with letting you know that they want to cry or are angry with something. Communication is the first step to resolve any situation.
3. Encourage Good Performance
Children are not able to control their impulses and emotions easily. For instance, if your child is used to throwing things around, and one day, instead of that action, they plainly state that they are furious, hug them and let them know that you are proud of the fact that they communicated and didn’t unleash their anger instead.
4. A Non-Zero Sum Game
Let your children learn early in life that not every decision is a win or lose. There can always be solutions that can be a win-win. Teach them the concept of compromise, which can be initiated only after clear, calm communication is established.
5. Identify their Motivation
Watch your child and figure out what is it that keeps them going. Talk to them on those lines by focusing on the aspects that work in this regard. You can make them aware that it is good to keep trying despite failure and help them use their emotions to achieve the goals they have set their mind to.
6. Teach Positive Affirmations
You won’t always be around to encourage your child, and they need to start doing things independently by themselves as well. Allow them to understand that they can use positive self-talk to handle their emotions better and keep themselves focused and motivated throughout.
7. Focus on Problem-Solving
When faced with obstacles and problems, please help your child understand that it is better to understand the problem and address it piece by piece than throwing a tantrum and being saddened by it. Problem-solving skills can go a long way in life.
8. Better Ways To Channel Emotions
Experiencing frustration and anger is natural. But channeling it the right way is necessary, too. Try to get your child involved in physical activities by gifting them a boxing bag that helps them address their anger. It is much better to translate the anger into simple, clear statements that address the issue.
9. Calming Down on Their Own
Teach your kid methods to prevent impulsive action, such as taking deep breaths, counting slowly up to 10, or drinking some water. Many techniques like these are effective in calming down the person immediately.
10. Make them Aware Of Stress
Preventing a problem is better than resolving one. Therefore, teach your child to be aware of situations or triggers that might cause stress in them. Knowing these can take the right measures to avoid them or prepare them to face them without surrendering to their emotions.
11. Understanding Emotions of Others
Learning to read people’s faces and various verbal and non-verbal cues is a good way to douse an upcoming argument or offer support to someone in trouble. Let your child be aware of various cues to be aware of them occurring with others.
12. Be Open To Talking Freely
Make it comfortable to have your child talk to you about anything that they might face. Having a communication channel that your child can trust and being open with them is extremely necessary.
13. Labelling Emotions
At times, the situation can be quite complex to understand what exactly your child might be feeling. In such cases, helping them label the emotion in plain simple terms can not only clear up things for you but help them understand what they are feeling as well.
14. Accept Your Kid For Who They Are
Not every child is the same. Some are sensitive, and some have anger issues. Let your child know verbally that you are aware of their feelings and offer to help them out with it. Acceptance can stop the situation from getting worse.
Why is EI Important For Children With Learning And Attention Issues?
Emotional intelligence games for children are essential, especially for children who have issues with learning and paying attention. These children have an added degree of difficulty since they have to face frustration daily by seeing their peers do various activities quite easily while they can’t do so.
Often, emotional intelligence can change the outcome of a frustrating situation from a tantrum-filled, crying, or inbuilt frustrating day to one that is full of communication, help, and growth for the child and the family.
Why do Some Children Often Struggle With Emotional Intelligence?
Not all kids who have learning issues struggle with emotional intelligence. But the reverse can be true in some cases where low EQ could indicate the presence of a behavioral problem. ADHD afflicted children, kids with hearing problems, and many others tend to misinterpret or ignore social cues altogether.
On the contrary, there have been cases where children with behavioral problems have shown surprisingly spectacular emotional intelligence, with a great ability to understand and empathize with others. The emotional quotient in children is a pretty important marker of their growth and development from a child to a young individual. Although one might not address this necessarily in schools, parents must be aware of this and take their child’s behavior into account. Work together in helping them understand themselves and others in a better way.
An emotionally intelligent child grows up to be a better individual in the future and is liked by all. They even have a sense of self, empathize with others, and most importantly, social, which is a basic life skill. There are many good reasons to work on your child’s emotional intelligence. Try these tips to make your little one emotionally intelligent and see them grow into kind people.
However, besides emotional intelligence, it is essential to develop other skills in your child as well. Intellikit is a monthly activity box subscription based on multiple intelligence theory and focuses on all-round development in kids. Based on a unique theme each month, the activities incorporate various types of play that ensure your child has fun while learning something new. Subscribe to Intellikit for a box of age-appropriate activities for your child, delivered to your doorstep each month!