We’ve all felt overwhelmed at some point in our life, whether by fear, sadness, anger, or joy. Most people understand the reasons behind their emotions, but for kids, being overwhelmed by feelings can sometimes be very confusing. Not understanding how and why it happens can make it more difficult for kids to express themselves properly. This is why teaching your kids about emotional intelligence is very important – it allows them to understand and control their emotions better.
With that in mind, here’s how you can help your children develop their emotional intelligence.
Acknowledge your child’s feelings
Even when you feel like there’s nothing you can do to change your child’s overreaction, you can always empathize. Being understood alone can help your child calm down and, eventually, express themselves better.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to or should always agree with your child’s reaction – it only means that you should show them that you understand and value their side as well. In other words, you still need to guide them towards an appropriate reaction. However, knowing that their feelings are acknowledged can help them reflect on their experience, bond with you, and accept when they don’t get their way.
Kids can’t always see the difference between what they do and who they are. So, instead of ignoring or minimizing your kids’ emotions, accept them. Make it clear to them that no emotion is wrong or shameful.
After all, denying an emotion will not make that emotion disappear – it can only make it bottle up until it pops out ten times stronger. Therefore, teach your kids that all emotions are normal and acceptable, but no matter how strong they are, they do not justify inappropriate actions. For example, they should know that no matter how mad they get, it’s never okay to hit somebody or break something.
Listen to your child
Firstly, acknowledging is not the same as listening, and you need to do both. We all feel better when we get a chance to “vent”, and your child is no different. Sometimes, all they need in order to feel better is somebody who’ll listen to them. You might be surprised by how much more cooperative they’ll become once they get a chance to express their emotions fully.
Just make sure to actually be present when listening. For example, you can reflect back by repeating what they say in order to show them that you are engaged. Keep in mind that they will notice if you’re distracted or uninterested, and this could discourage them from expressing their emotions in the future.
Play it out
The healthiest way for kids to process their emotions is through play. After all, kids cannot always express themselves in words, especially if they are still very young. So, when you notice a negative pattern in your child’s behavior, try to play it out for them. This way, you could help them resolve whatever is bothering them more easily. Plus, laughter is great for releasing stress, for both kids and adults. Moreover, some educational centers in Asia, like a professional education center from Hong Kong, believe that playing is not just about having fun and learning how to count or read. They put a lot of emphasis on teaching kids how to communicate and express their emotions from an early age. So, perhaps you could apply some of their creative methods as well.
Related to the previous suggestions, all emotions have a meaning, so teach your child how to understand their feelings without the need to actually act on them right away. Once they do understand why they feel the way they do, they are more likely to figure out the right way to act. This also means that you should give them a chance to solve the problem for themselves. Being patient and letting them figure it out on their own would show them that you have confidence in their abilities.
Emotional intelligence is as important for kids as it is for adults, if not even more. So, don’t neglect your child’s feelings if you want them to learn how to understand their emotions, control them, and react to them properly. Follow the listed suggestions, be present, in the moment when teaching your child, and you might even be surprised by the results.
Hi, before you go…
Don’t forget to join our Private Facebook page. The page is created to share your work, pitch your services and learn from one another.
If you enjoyed the blog we would like to have you join our email list and receive the weekly email of the latest blog post, tips, and exclusive content, you can join now!
If you found this post helpful, please PIN IT!
About the Author
Sophia Smith is beauty and style blogger, graphic designer and DIY enthusiast. She is very passionate about the latest fashion trends and graphic design projects. Sophia writes mostly about fashion-related topics in her articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including Viva Glam Magazine, Fashion Finest, Savant Magazine, She is Fierce HQ, Bon Vita Style, Cause Artist and Carousel.