Studies have shown that children who can manage their emotion-driven impulses are more successful in engaging in pro-social behaviours and accomplishing tasks. Students with higher EQ (emotional quotient) also tend to perform better academically and nurture relationships with their teachers and peers.
Here are three ways parents can help nurture emotional intelligence in their children.
1. Verbalise your emotions
Always make the time to talk to your children, share about your emotions and how you are feeling. This will encourage your child to talk about theirs. Engage them in discussions on emotions and give them the freedom to voice their opinions. When they express their thoughts and feelings openly at home, they build a sense of trust and take comfort in you being their emotional anchor. It is ok to share your vulnerabilities with your children. You will be surprised at their maturity and how much you will learn from them.
2. Overcome challenges together
Talk about ways in which they can overcome challenges and learn from experiences. Talk about different strategies they could use to tackle their struggles and encourage them to keep a positive mind. Share with them your personal experiences and how you were once in their shoes. Communication is key. As a family, partake in activities that will evoke joy and positive emotions. Sometimes it is ok to relax and do nothing except talk with your child. Going for walks or playing a sport your child likes goes a long way to open up communications and build trust and understanding.
3. Practice mindful meditation
Practicing mindful meditation helps build mental and emotional well-being. Life can be complicated for tweens, teenagers, and also young children. New responsibilities and social settings may sometimes cause stress and anxiety. Learning how to control their stress will benefit them in many ways. Parents can encourage their children to practice mindfulness by doing it themselves. You can set an example by getting into mindfulness exercises yourself in your daily life and sharing with your children the positive effects it has had on you. Several mindfulness apps are simple to use and make the whole process easy and relatable. A five-minute meditation routine before school is all it takes to have a great start to the day. Apps and youtube videos make the process easier as children are keener when technology is involved.
It may not be an overnight process, but with effort, it will lay the foundation for a beautiful relationship of trust that will go a long way to ensure your child's success in life. Work together to maintain open communications and solve problems together. Don’t be afraid to deal with issues that may seem tricky or challenging, and pretend that they will go away if you avoid them. A little goes a long way.