We hear about Emotional Intelligence a lot, especially in recent times. Lots of trainings, courses and certifications on Emotional Intelligence abound. But the truth is that emotional intelligence is something that is supposed to be taught from home. It is something we are supposed to learn as kids and grow up with.
We invited someone who is passionate about Emotional intelligence, especially in children, to come speak to us about it.
According to Queenette, Emotional Intelligence simply means understanding and navigating your emotions intelligently.
We all want our children to be academically sound, to get great grades in school and be the top of their class. But even though that is fantastic, there is another important aspect of life and living that is also very important and that is our emotion. If we do not raise our children to be emotionally intelligent and instill great values in them as well, they may grow up to become difficult adults. And difficult adults is the reason the world is difficult and complicated today. Because, at the end of the day, the world is the sum total of the families that make it up.
Everyone on earth has emotions. We all know these emotions -happiness, sadness, anger, fear etc. What many do not realize, however, is that emotions are like data, they come to tell us something. What we go ahead to do with the information from the data we are receiving is what tells us whether we are emotionally intelligent or not.
Another crucial point to note is that, to raise children who are emotionally intelligent, the parent or guardians needs to have some form of emotional intelligence themselves.
Here are the ways we can raise kids who are emotionally intelligent.
1. Allow your children verbalize their actions and emotions: Don’t be quick to shut your children up. Allowing them to talk also creates room for you to have a conversation with your children and know what they feel, how they feel it and what they think about what they feel. Let them verbalize what’s going on with them. This is very important. But as we let them speak, let’s be mindful so that the line between self expression and rudeness isn’t crossed.
2. Help your children name their emotions while they are narrating an experience to you: Help them put labels on what they feel. “Oh, that got you upset. I see you were happy with that” and so on.
Also ask helpful questions like; So what happened? What can we do to make you feel better? This helps them to process what they are feeling per time, and they also get to remember that you truly care about them.
3. Allow your children make mistakes: Mistakes are part of life. Children need to realize that. Allow them to make mistakes but give them a tool called “Consequential thinking”. This is for them to realize that there are consequences for everything. Explain to them the consequences for their actions. When your child understands consequential thinking they put into consideration the consequences of their actions, even before they take action. In doing that, your children are learning how to make sound decisions. For instance, Instead of beating or shouting at your children to go read. Explain to them what happens when they don’t read? They may fail their subject or even repeat a class. When they remember that, and the desire to succeed in school has been established, it makes it easier for them to read without being told.
It takes discipline for us to be aware of emotions and still be in charge of it. Let’s do better with our children, by learning to be emotionally intelligent ourselves and also helping our kids become emotionally intelligent.