I normally don’t start to express my thought with questions but considering the topic is very sensitive and real in nature, let me put a question across. How many of you understand what is emotional intelligence? Why is it important for you and your child?
We as humans are so driven by the concept of survival of the fittest which is again motivated by only materialistic and tangible objects. IQ is always given more importance than EQ. There are no classes or school for EQ. It’s our responsibility to teach kids the most important surviving technique of life – emotions.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, manage and influence one’s own and others emotions.
As parents, we don’t consider crying or possessiveness or anger or crankiness or behavior changes as emotional disbalance. We just consider this a growing up phase and show patience for it to fade away. Eventually, it will fade away but we can use these tantrums and emotional outburst to start building their emotional intelligence.
How to help your child build emotional intelligence?
- Simply by talking – your child cries a lot because he/she is unable to express emotions and they don’t know how to express it right. Take this as an opportunity and ask them how they are feeling, be patient in understanding things from their perspective. Your child emotions might feel unfair to you at that moment but it’s a huge deal for your child. So ask your child, just don’t listen to the reply but try to understand it.
- Empathise – This is one of the hardest things to do because lot of times your child’s emotions may not be rational. It might sense foolish for you share the same emotions over a broken toy or dirt spot on her dress. This is a chance to understand your child’s interest, what really matters to your child, how your child is perceiving the environment, why is your child behaving in a certain manner. Empathy and help her/him to fight these emotions.
- Convert negative emotions to positive diversions – once you have empathized, you can relate better to their issues. Assist them finding solutions and motivate them to convert these emotions into positive opportunities. For instance, if your child is crying over a broken toy. Help your child to fix it, window this to a construction activity. Take is an opportunity to boost her/his problem-solving skills. Question them for ideas, stimulate them with suggestions. This way they will learn that every small or big problem can be solved.
- Teach them sympathy and empathy – encourage them to understand others emotions from the start. Incite them to similar emotional intelligence practices towards others and yourself. Trigger the feeling of other’s emotions is it happy or sad or calm or tired or angry. Ask them to aid other’s problems with solutions. This is the easiest of all, you don’t need sibling or friends to teach them caring and sharing and social skills. Simply ask them to help you with your problem as simple as getting something from the shelf, putting things in the washing machine. Explain to them that you are late for work, or have a headache and need help at home be it setting the dinner table.
- Preach what you teach – expressing emotions is every important as suppressing them can lead to outburst or depression. Be positive over life issues, have a positive approach to negative emotions. It’s important to cry but also most important is to self-motivate. Express your concerns and emotions and ask for help.
- Positive house environment – shower your child with patience, love, tolerance, calmness etc. They imitate the behavior of loved ones, watching you yell or getting aggressive, expose them to those emotions and they copy you. Everything starts at home good or bad so try to maintain positive vibes at home. Don’t explode or break under any pressure rather set an example of strong emotional intelligence.
Having a strong emotional intelligence sets one apart from others. It helps you construct a positive personality, people look up to you for your positive approach to life, you are considered a problem solver. Looking forward to applying for a job or taking up a higher hierarchy in office, strong emotional intelligence sets one apart from the crowd.
We are among very few people who can read this and understand the importance of it. We can share the word across and speak to family and friends to understand it more. But there is one segment of our society which is illiterate and working very hard to educate their children to be a better person.
The low-income community is deprived of this concept because they are busy striving to reach physiological goals of life. For them, education is the most vital solution to child upbringing. We can’t blame them or expect them to understand this, after all, everyone needs to eat. Considering this I have started a project #SharingHappiness, is an initiative to promote and help emotional wellbeing of our society starting with CHILDREN.
#SharingHappiness has collaborated with Light Up and #BlogchatterProjects. Light up is one of the first few social ventures (NGO) that is advocating for the need to practice emotional intelligence ie. teach emotional and social skills to provide comprehensive, integrated and preventive mental health. They are passionate about preparing children for a healthy social-emotional life and conducts Social -Emotional Learning (SEL) -workshops in low-income communities, Teach for India classrooms, NDMC summer workshops etc.
The objective of the project is to educate masses about emotional wellbeing of children. Encourage them to contribute to this social cause by donations books, clothes, and money. Please contact Juhi the founder of Light up for small or big donation at 9871955095.
Let us make this winter even warmer with supporting community children and donating whatever small or big we can.
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