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How to Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child in a Healthy Dynamic

How to raise an emotionally intelligent child in a healthy dynamic, special needs, raising kids, how to be a good parent, family
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Understanding Emotional Intelligence and teaching it to our children promotes a healthy family dynamic. Emotional Intelligence builds social skills and helps people process, label, and understand their emotions. Emotional Intelligence aids in controlling our emotions and how we interact with others. It is incredibly important as it helps with interpersonal relationships. Let’s talk about how to raise an emotionally intelligent child in a healthy dynamic.

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What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is a large term for understanding your emotions and the emotions of the people around you. There are five areas of Emotional Intelligence that are intertwined. These five areas are self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation. 

Five Areas of Emotional Intelligence

When thinking about self-awareness, people most likely think that it means “being self-aware.” While this is mostly true, self-awareness can be defined as knowing yourself, your views, beliefs, ideas, and emotions. Being self-aware also means to understand how your perspectives and emotions influence your behaviors. 

Self Regulation For Your Child

Self-regulation is also another one of those terms where people think it is literally defined in the words themselves. Right again! Self-regulation is another important aspect of Emotional Intelligence and it is defined as the ability to control our behaviors; in other words, thinking before we act. While practicing self-regulation can be challenging if it is a new skill, it is crucial if we want to have positive circumstances as a result of our actions. Parents can help by limiting time spent using technology for children and teens.

Social Skills for Children and Teens

Social skills are the lovely tools we use each day when communicating with everybody. Social/Communication skills can be both verbal and nonverbal. Verbal communication is what we say, write, email, and even text. Verbal communication cannot solely exist without nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication includes things such as active listening, eye contact, facial expressions, body language, and empathy. It fuels that whole “actions speak louder than words” motto. 

Empathy is a Healthy Dynamic to Teach Your Children

Empathy is another crucial part of Emotional Intelligence. Have you ever heard that term, “try putting yourself in my shoes?” That is the basic definition. Empathy is the ability to see something from the point of view of another individual. 

Motivation

Motivation is something that everyone must have to achieve some kind of goal. Motivation is defined as the desire or inspiration to do something. It includes willingness to take action, being optimistic, and becoming strong from our experiences. 

 Let’s talk more about how to raise an emotionally intelligent child in a healthy dynamic. Demonstrating forgiveness in marriage would be a great place to start.

How To Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child

According to Gottman (1998), “emotion coaching” is the term used to define raising and guiding a child to become emotionally intelligent. He describes five steps to help raise a child to be emotionally intelligent. These five steps are:

  1. Being aware of your child’s emotions
  2. Look at the expression of emotion as a teachable moment.
  3. Actively listen and put yourself in your child’s shoes and verify your child’s emotions. 
  4. Don’t be wordy. Use words that are developmentally appropriate when talking with your child. 
  5. Help your child solve and discover positive choices or cope with an upsetting situation. 

 Let’s talk more about how to raise an emotionally intelligent child in a healthy dynamic. Working with your child to be emotionally intelligent will help them countless times throughout their lives. This is a skill that can transform familial relationships. 

The Steps to Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child

  • Being aware of your child’s feelings is the first step in teaching emotional intelligence. To understand their emotions, parents must also observe their own self-awareness. Processing, labeling, and understanding your own emotions as a parent helps you relate to how your child is feeling and helps you be conscious of the emotions your child is experiencing no matter how big or small. A window to how they feel can be observed in how and what they play. Free-play allows them the opportunity to explore their emotions and have their characters role play these emotions. Another helpful tip to becoming aware of your child’s feelings is to allow yourself to empathize with them (i.e. “How would I feel if it were me?”). How would you react to certain situations?
  • While navigating through difficult emotions can be stressful and even overwhelming for parents, you can take a different approach to help your child become more emotionally conscious. When they are expressing themselves, looking at it as a chance to become closer and as a teachable moment can make or break the process of emotion coaching. Taking the time to address the issues at hand let your child know that you are on their side and you want to help them. Beginning to work on issues while they are small can help avoid unwanted anxiety and stress for both you and your child. Early strategizing can also build foundations for collaboration as work through bigger challenges in the future. 
  • Active listening and showing empathy are crucial in helping your child become aware and process their feelings. This step requires you to pay close attention to their social cues (verbal and nonverbal communication).  Taking the time to sit quietly and listen shows your child that you are truly engaged with them and your willingness to help. After your child shares with you their concerns, it is important that you summarize what they said so they can understand that you think their feelings are justified. Remember: everyone has the right to feel their feelings. Everyone processes things differently!
  • Developmentally appropriate use of words is important, but a step that may be overlooked by adults when working with their children. When helping children label their emotions, it is crucial to use words that are easy for them to understand. Big words, while they are appropriate sometimes, may not be the best choice if helping younger children or individuals with special needs. Tailor your approach to the age of your child. Help them build an emotional vocabulary to properly label emotions in the future. 
  • Allowing your child to problem solve and come up with solutions to their problems is the final step in emotion coaching. Having them come up with solutions that work best for them helps build a sense of independence and gives them a sense of control. Problem solving is a skill they will use throughout their lifetime, and utilizing it while working through big emotions will prove beneficial time and time again. 

What are the Benefits of Raising Children Who are Emotionally Intelligent?

  • Emotional intelligence can be linked to higher academic achievement.
  • Building and learning emotional intelligence early in life can lead to success during adulthood. 
  • Emotional intelligence helps build strong relationships with friends and in careers with deeper understanding and empathy. 
  • Being emotionally intelligent promotes better mental health.

Emotional Intelligence is a skill that would benefit everyone.

It promotes a healthy family dynamic and helps children learn to process their emotions and work through them. Practicing emotional intelligence is a skill that always needs improvement and practicing it daily with children and within a family unit will help promote the overall well being of children and the entire family. When children are emotionally intelligent, they can have better relationships and outcomes throughout their lifetime. Modeling emotional intelligence and utilizing the skills in emotion coaching should be a skill that every family practices for better development.

We invite you to watch the Great news Video on this page to find out more about how much God loves you.

We invite you to watch the “Great News” video on this page and find out more about God’s love for you and how you can receive forgiveness and eternal life – today!

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