How to Promote Emotional Intelligence in Children

A person’s childhood plays a major role in shaping his/her personality. Developing emotional intelligence in children now will help them build a rational thought process and make decisions in future. It can save your child a lot of trauma caused by imprudent actions later. Also, emotional intelligence helps the child to understand his/her skills, abilities and capabilities better. It contributes to the child’s rapid psychological development in a positive direction. Hardships are a part of life and an emotionally intelligent child is better equipped to deal with them. They will be able to understand themselves as well as others and become sensitive to feelings.

We live in a world now where it is not sufficient just to get good grades. Human intelligence is not limited to the knowledge of books any longer. The world is no more bound by distances and the virtual world allows us to interact with our counterparts spread across various geographical locations. It is very crucial to a child’s growth and development into an emotionally healthy child by promoting emotional intelligence in them right from their childhood. Such individuals also perform well in their careers, become successful and even become valuable employees to companies, when employed. Here are a few ways to help you in developing emotional intelligence in children.

Ways to Develop Emotional Intelligence in Children

Encourage Reading: Yes, I did say that knowledge is not limited to books. But, it all depends on what kind of books you are getting your children to read. Children are mostly inclined towards reading stories. They all help in making your children morally strong by subtly introducing them to a variety of life experiences. They also get to understand different perspectives of people and how to deal with diverse situations that may face in future. Books highlight negative and positive attitude and behavior of people with different personalities, while polishing their language skills.

Participation in Extracurricular Activities in School: It helps in real-life interaction of your kids with others of the same age and promotes emotional intelligence amongst them. Extracurricular activities also help your children to express themselves and deal with their emotions. It brings about self-awareness as they discover new aspects of their own personality. Also, it brings healthy competition and encourages your child to polish their skills. Such children grow up to become extroverted and have a flare for public interaction.

More Play Time with Other Children: At home, after your child comes back from school, encourage him to go out and play with other kids in the neighborhood. Playing in an environment away from school also helps them ease up. It is an unregulated environment and behavior is not monitored unless parents intervene. This is the time when children exhibit their true nature and attitude. They learn to look out for themselves. A playground is an unstructured social setting where relationships are based upon interaction with those around the child.

Involve Children at Home: Involve your children with family activities. It is a common misconception that children should be kept away from issues involving the family and the household in order to protect them or not put any burden on them. You may be alienating the child unknowingly. Involve them in decisions like what to buy from the supermarket on a grocery budget, even for the big purchases like a car or a new television set, ask their help to make sweets for festivities, take care of the dog or help in cleaning the kitchen. It brings a sense of responsibility among them.

Join Hobby Classes: This is the best thing you can do to make your child happy by encouraging them to pursue and learn their interests. They will be grateful to you while they learn something different from what they are taught at school. They will become more enthusiastic towards learning and it will be a stimulating experience to try out different things as they grow up, further enriching them as individuals.

Encourage Children to Talk: By giving your child the freedom to express himself around you and other family members, you will ensure that there are no negative feelings in your child’s heart towards any situation that may occur even outside home. It will keep you aware of the daily developments in your child’s life.

Reward Good Behavior: What if your child picks up a negative attitude before he/she start showing any positive characteristics? If your child seems introverted and has a lack of enthusiasm for participating in other activities that promote emotional intelligence in kids, you need to spend more time with your child to understand the problem. They may be being bullied by other kids, they feel disconnected to the environment or maybe feeling shy. You need to have the talk with your child and help them deal with such issues. Motivate and reward them for showing good behavior by buying tickets for the local circus show, a trip to the annual fair, a piece of chocolate for cleaning their room, a new bicycle for good grades or extra time to watch their favorite television show.

Reprimand Bad Behavior: If your neighbors or your child’s teachers are complaining about your child for exhibiting rude or harmful behavior towards others, it is better to take control of the situation now than regret later. You must punish them for showing your unhappiness towards such behavior. You can punish them by first having a talk without scolding them to explain that such behavior will not be appreciated. Show them the other side of the picture that they fail to realize. If that doesn’t work, you may resort to tactics like having nobody in the family talking to the child until he/she realizes the mistake and promises to be better in future, take away the luxuries that they may have enjoyed till now like watching television, going out to play with other kids or having dessert after dinner. Do not be too harsh that they start to resent you as well.

by Urvashi Pokharna.

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