As you focus on your child’s academics, it is important that you encourage them to identify and manage their emotions too. It is highly encouraged that emotional intelligence is reinforced at home, where parents educate children on their social-emotional skills. When emotions are at a peak, they may react and behave in a certain way they normally wouldn’t- just as adults do. From a young age, they learnt to tackle disturbing external impulses with their own methods, some of which may not deem ‘normal’. Over time, one practices how to regulate their emotions and expressions, becoming more aware. All these are significantly essential to your child’s happiness, wellbeing, and contentment. Studies have shown that children who can manage their emotion-driven impulses and avoid distractions are more successful in engaging pro-social behaviors and accomplishing tasks. Students with higher EQ(emotional quotient) also tends to do better in their studies and nurture better relationships with their teachers and peers.
Here are three ways parents can respond to their children’s emotions and help increase their emotional intelligence.
1. Verbalise Emotions
It is always good to establish communication with your child as often as possible. When we encourage them to express their feelings verbally, they open up to us. Engage them in discussions on emotional topics and giving them the freedom to voice out their opinions where you can give yours too, this way they won’t bottle up their feelings and keep to themselves. When they are able to express their thoughts and emotions openly at home, it gives them immense comfort. Doing so will allow them to be more sensitive towards people’s emotions and increase their social awareness. You can even make conversations casual and fun by infusing humour into it.
2. Overcoming Challenges
Talk about ways in which they can overcome challenges and learn from experiences. Explain strategies to tackle their struggles and encourage them to keep a positive mind. Share with them your personal accounts and how you were once in their shoes. Communication is key. As a family, partake in activities that will evoke joy and create positive emotions. It is a great way to bond and strengthen the relationship too.
3. Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Practicing mindfulness meditation helps build their mental and emotional health. Life can be complicated for teenagers and school may feel like a challenge at times. 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 talking to them about the benefits it brings. Practice what you preach- you can set an example by getting into mindfulness exercises yourself in your daily life and tell your children about the positive effects it has on you. There are also several mindfulness apps they can get into, these apps can be simple to use and make the whole process easy to understand. It’s a great way to incorporate mindfulness into their lives. Children are definitely keener when technology is involved.
It may not be an overnight process but with effort, it will be easier over time. Work together to maintain open communication and work through problems together, this will help them develop healthy relationships in all aspects of their lives. Don’t be afraid to deal with these issues with your child. A little goes a long way.