6 Steps To Nurture Emotional Intelligence in Your Child
From: AHA Parenting
So you want to raise an emotionally intelligent child and and you're wondering where to begin? Start with these six steps.
Of course, number 1 is to read the Sad Mad Glad books to your children.
2. Acknowledge your child’s perspective and empathize.
Even if you can't "do anything" about your child's upsets, empathize. Just being understood helps humans let go of troubling emotions. If your child's upset seems out of proportion to the situation, remember that we all store up emotions and then let ourselves experience them once we find a safe haven. Then we're free to move on.
Empathizing doesn’t mean you agree, just that you see it from his side, too. He may have to do what you say, but he’s entitled to his own perspective. We all know how good it feels to have our position acknowledged; somehow it just makes it easier when we don’t get our way.
3. Allow expression
Little ones can't differentiate between their emotions and their "selves." Accept your child’s emotions, rather than denying or minimizing them, which gives children the message that some feelings are shameful or unacceptable.
Disapproving of her fear or anger won't stop her from having those feelings, but it may well force her to repress them. Unfortunately, repressed feelings don't fade away, as feelings do that have been freely expressed. They’re trapped and looking for a way out. Because they aren’t under conscious control, they pop out unmodulated, when a child socks her sister, has nightmares, or develops a nervous tic.
Instead, teach that the full range of feelings is understandable and part of being human, even while some actions must be limited.