From CEOs, to athletes, to spiritual teachers, to entrepreneurs, it is increasingly understood that emotional intelligence is what sets champions apart from others. Learning emotional intelligence begins in childhood. Parents can begin teaching children about managing their emotions from an early age and it often starts with parents learning how to do it for themselves.
Here’s an overview of what it is. Emotional resiliency is the ability to manage feelings and cope with day to day stresses as well as major life events. This also includes the ability to recognize and accept feelings and express them in appropriate ways that do not harm others. A person’s mindset makes a difference in how they approach life. If a person is a problem solver, positive thinker, and secure in their ability to move forward, they can manage life in a way that creates resiliency, health, and thoughtful interactions with others. It is these qualities that make a person successful in learning, building relationships, and ultimately succeeding in education, work, relationships and life. Here are some tips to build emotional intelligence in children:
• Accept different emotions.
• Talk about feelings, both yours and your child’s. Be honest.
• Listen to your child without judging. Ask questions.
• Avoid saying things like, “there is nothing to worry about” or “that’s a silly thing to be afraid of” or “you’re just tired”.
• Allow your child to experience frustration. Don’t rush to rescue. Working through difficult tasks and completing them helps your child feel successful.
• Talk about ways to calm down. Manage your own emotions in a healthy way so your child has a good example of emotional resiliency.
• Encourage optimism.
Your children rely on the strength of your relationship to grow and learn.
United Way of Santa Fe County focuses on building emotional capacity in parents, caregivers, and children. Our programs develop relationship skills, communication, and secure attachment; all necessary for healthy growth and learning in young children.