SAGE MENTOR | Emotional intelligence Coach

7 Steps to Nurture Emotional Intelligence in Your Child

It is clear that having a high level of emotional intelligence (EI) helps a child develop into a responsible, productive and happy adult. Some studies show that having a high EI is more important than even a super high IQ regarding having a successful life.

  • Allow Your Child Free Expression

Children who have a high EI are raised in households where they are free to have their own thoughts, feelings, and observations and aren’t told they are wrong without solid scientific reason. Moreover, that reason is offered in a non-judgemental way without discarding the child’s feelings.

  • Seek to Be Reasonable and Fair

Allow your child or children input in the household rules and dynamics. Remember that fair is not always completely equal and that sometimes someone will need more attention than another child and it is up to the parent to explain this to the child -again acknowledging the child’s feelings about it.

  • Demonstrate Healthy Communication

Children watch everything a parent does, so it is vital that the parents demonstrate what healthy communication looks like. Not only should parents carefully listen to and respond to each other, but they should also show the same respect to their children. Treat children as real people, and they will grow up feeling important.

  • Develop Reasonable Household Rules

When children are young, you can make rules such as cleaning up the bedroom right before going to sleep at night, and as they are older, you can develop other rules that feel just like patterns of behaviour. We brush our teeth before bed, we clean up our toys before bed, and we do our homework after dinner.

Establishing natural consequences for breaking the rules is also the best way to make rules feel like normal life. As children get older, allow them to develop some rules of their own and guidelines they want to live by.

  • Always Be Nurturing and Supportive

Even when a child fails at a goal, or expresses emotions or beliefs that you do not agree with, it is important to be nurturing and supportive of them. You can even disagree with your child while also being supportive. It is a good way to teach children that it is okay to feel differently than other people and have their own views about life. This is an excellent way to teach empathy.

  • Demonstrate Healthy Boundaries

Children who understand healthy boundaries learn it from the example their parents set. A lot of this learned behaviour happens between the parents of the child and the parents and friends of the parents. The child observes how mum and daddy interact with others, how they help others, how they let other people treat them, and then often the child will emulate what their parents demonstrate.

Model Problem Solving Skills

Parents of children with high EI don’t hide issues from their children such as job problems, financial problems, and even fights. They instead demonstrate good problem solving skills to their children. Of course good parents don’t frighten their children with too much information, but they show children that bills have to be paid, arguments have to be settled, and they all need to be done in a healthy manner.

As you see, the best way you can nurture emotional intelligence in your child is to demonstrate EI on your own. Children learn what they live, and live what they learn. 

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