Emotional Intelligence in Children

The following article was kindly written and contributed by Susan Craig.

Do you find yourself wondering how to encourage your child to express their feelings freely? Kids need to be educated about emotional intelligence to form the basis of expressing and managing feelings appropriately. Emotional intelligence in kids is the ability to understand and deal with emotions. It helps children to recognise and express their emotions healthily. The following are ways on how you can build emotional intelligence in children.

Understand their language

Understanding a language is critical in a child. The language people speak, is closely related to who they are or who they aspire to be. Language can be a big barrier when encouraging children to express their emotions freely. You can check out tutors from Preply who can help your kids improve their knowledge of the English language.

While you can teach kids the normal language used by adults to communicate, it is good to teach them kid-friendly language. For example, you can tell children to take a few deep breaths as a way of calming their bodies when they are angry. 

However, a better way to communicate with them would be telling them to take bubble breaths. Not only will this improve their emotional wisdom, but it will also enable the message to stick more.

Put a tag on children’s challengesemotional intelligence in children

After understanding how to communicate with a child, it is crucial to do the actual talking with them. When conversing with a child, ask them what they are struggling with and how they feel. According to the response you get, label their emotions like angry, sad, anxious, overwhelmed, etc. This helps in establishing child intelligence development on a concrete basis.

Describing an emotion is the initial step in dealing with it. Emotional regulation develops due to the careful study of a child’s behaviour. If you identify the key description of emotion, it is easy to regulate it.

Show sympathy to children

People often overlook the feelings of children, especially when they have escalated emotions. Assuming the emotions of a child only does greater damage than help. It is always good to show concern when you notice a child is going through something troubling.

If there is nothing you can do for a child’s emotions, just empathise. Empathy eradicates troubling emotions in a child as well as aiding in child intelligence development. Empathizing does not mean you agree with what they do or pass through. It just shows you see things from their perspective.

If you show and notify a child on how you feel about their emotions, they will be freer to express themselves to you. Building emotional intelligence in children requires both the child and the other party to communicate with each other without boundaries. Since a child can easily withhold some information, it is important to create an environment where they can share without fear.

How showing empathy encourages emotional intelligence for kids

  • Children develop empathy when they get it from others
  • Children can reflect on the experience of an object that triggers their feelings. This can greatly help them in dealing with such feelings as they grow up.

Have clear ways to express feelings

It is important to teach children appropriate ways to express their feelings in a socially acceptable manner. I know you’ve heard the saying children do what we do not what we tell them. The same applies here; you have to model these skills yourself and often use them as part of your daily conversations.

Research shows that emotionally intelligent parents have a higher chance of having emotionally intelligent children. Therefore, when socialising with children, show them the need to express feelings through the way you communicate with them.

Teach children about problem-solving

Teaching children emotional intelligence in children has to incorporate problem-solving skills. Like any other problem, emotions need to be handled in the right way. Children need to be taught how to deal with emotions without acting on them. 

After getting sympathy for their emotions, the feelings start to fade away. This leaves a gap for problem-solving. It would help if you taught your child how to trace the beginning of their feelings.

While there are kids who can solve problems on their own, there are others who would require your help. However, you should only participate in their problem-solving exercise if you realize the need to or if they request your assistance. Helping every time makes the kid lose confidence in solving problems.

How this helps in emotional intelligence

  • Allows children to develop problem-solving skills
  • Children can learn how to solve their emotions without attacking other people. 

Endnote

Learning how to teach emotional intelligence in children is quite vital. Many adults struggle with it because it was not built from a young age. Children need to understand how to deal with emotions without acting upon them. The most important thing for children to understand in building emotional intelligence is how to solve problems. Most of the emotions originate from one source, such as anger, anxiety, sadness, etc. If children can learn how to deal with them from a young age, then many problems could be avoided later.