Child's
emotional intelligence
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Education at the right

 moment

Self-esteem and respect The rules
TV and computer  

Laughs and joy in the family 

Encouraging them to care about others. Their manners 
How are they going to solve their problems?  How to make friends  How do we take care of their

 emotions? 

 


 
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Enhancing your child’s emotional intelligence(EQ) 

The development of social and emotional abilities in children are also designated as a revolution in child psychology. 

The emotions are good, and we react physically upon them. This reactions are produced by biochemical elements, generated by our brains. For example, fear helps us protect ourselves against harm and warns us about the dangers. Rage helps us overcome obstacles, and achieve our goals, and so on. But in modern life, we face up to emotional challenges that Nature hasn’t anticipated, and that creates conflict. 

We can teach our kids the emotional and social abilities, that will enable them to handle the emotional stress of modern times, in a hurried and hectic lifestyle, that has made kids become prone to irritability and anger. We can help the identify these feelings and control them. 

In the social aspect, we can also teach them to make and keep intimate relationships, to overcome new situations that may distress them- such us parent’s divorce, death of a close relative, changes of school, neighborhood, friends, etc.-  as well as to overcome the problems of child growth itself. 

For further guidance see “What’s your style of education?” in Family 

Development of your child’s emotional skills 

What we have to teach our children and how. 

Education at the right moment

First, we have to consider the age of our child, but above all, his developmental stage. That is, we won’t take any steps further in his education by teaching him something new -or giving him, for instance a toy- if he hasn’t completed the previous developmental stage. It will only bore him. The exact opposite: a child with a set of toys, the use of which he has already mastered, will also get bored. 

Self-esteem and respect

To have high self-esteem, kids need their parents’ emotional support. It’s not only about praising an academic achievement, but also about participating actively, putting aside some time for them. Praise them and support them whenever their conduct is correct, but not without a reason (like flattering). Recognize something they’ve achieved through effort and dedication, based upon specific accomplishments, that is, you wouldn’t say “you’re so smart, you’re the best”, because it sounds like flattering and the kid can feel it. Instead you would say something like, “ Maria, it’s great how you’ve put away your toys”. 

It’s also important to support them when they fail. Honestly, showing interest about it, but without trying to control or meddle because, in order to let the child’s self-esteem develop, he has to feel respected. It’s good to observe him and let him make mistakes, and rectify them by himself, because that’s how he is going to learn.

 

 

 

 

 

The rules


Unlike we may think, rules, as well as demands and goals clearly defined, are something necessary for our children. They need to know what to expect, they need parents to “draw the line” clearly, to set up the limits between what’s good and bad, and it’s within this limits that the kids can make themselves responsible for their own decisions, depending on their age.

 

Children rebel, turn against the rules for many different reasons, but more often than not, they just want to know what the limit is.

 

If we, teachers and educators, are clear about what benefits a child and what is potentially harmful for him, we can be firm in our statements, we can firmly tell him: “Darling, you’re not going to do that again” when his behavior is beyond the socially accepted limits. Not always is appropriate reasoning with kids, not at all times. For instance, if she’s in the middle of a tantrum, what will help her the most is seeing assurance and affection in her parents, not reasoning.

 

This rules have to be consistent and coherent, previously thought up, and have to benefit the child. And, though it might be tough, parents have to be firm and consistent with the rules, every time the child tests them.

 

TV and computer

 

Many parents have discovered a very inexpensive nanny: the television! In front of a TV set, kids get used to observe passively; they don’t develop their social abilities, they “don’t do anything” creative during the passive time they sit in front of that device. Most TV programs do nothing else but letting the kids pass their time. We recommend you that you spend some time playing and talking your kids, and if they insist on watching a particular program, find out why they like it, then talk to them and tell them your opinion about it. 

The role a child plays watching TV or playing computer games is not always the same, though. Sometimes his role is active, not passive, learning things that develop his intelligence and creativity. There are quite some highly creative programs, where kids will make compositions or tell stories. Even then, this didactic way of entertainment lacks social communication, therefore it is not recommended that kids spend too much time involved in it. Time has to be reasonably distributed among diverse activities, such us outings, games with peers, with parents, relatives, etc.

 

Laughs and joy in the family 

Optimism is an ability that can be learned, it’s one of the best gifts you could give a child. 

We all know the anecdote about two people sitting in front of a half-full glass. The optimist says, “the glass is almost full”. The pessimist says, “the glass is almost empty”. The habit of seeing the positive side of events, and always expect the best results is a great advantage for those who are in it. 

Pessimists think they are being realistic, but in fact, it all depends on our attributions, that is, the way a person interprets the events that take place around him. In our daily life, we distinguish between two kinds of causes. 

.Internal cause, in which we feel responsible for the incident and we blame our personality or personal skills or lack therefore. 

. And external cause, in which we blame it to the environment or to  any particular circumstances, beyond our reach... 

For instance: Is our Child’s academic underachievement due to his lack of intellectual skills or motivation? (internal cause). Or is he a victim of an inadequate education system, or of unprofessional teachers? (external cause). 

The optimistic person expects the best, but also takes over the responsibility to make things happen. And starts by being realistic if he’s the one causing the negative outcome. 

In this case, he would expect the education system and the professors to work successfully, but if it’s not like this, he considers it to be a specific and isolated problem. He would also be realistic in the event of an underachievement or lack of motivation, and would also regard it as a specific and isolated problem. 

This way of viewing problems and incidents helps create a relaxed and content environment at home. 

Encouraging them to care about others. Their manners 

The emotional reaction to others is developed in little kids during their first 6 years of life. In this developmental stage, according to Piaget, is when the kids are capable of seeing things from somebody else’s perspective. 

Before they reach this age, they have what Martin Hoffman calls “global empathy”, that is, newborn babies can cry when they hear somebody crying, but they aren’t capable of distinguishing between them and their world. Between its first and second month, a baby can already distinguish between her, the others, and  her environment, but she can’t put herself in somebody else’s place. It requires a cognitive and neurological maturity that the child won’t acquire until his 6 years of age. For a more comprehensive explanation, see child evolutionary stages. 

Although, at this age, the kid has already witnessed our kindness and consideration towards others, now is the ideal moment to start promoting it, since her intelligence is ready to comprehend it easily,  learn good manners, be responsible and respect others. We can teach them that our own wants and needs are limited by the wants and needs of others. 

How are they going to solve their problems? 

This point is closely linked to the previous one, since we can teach  more adequately and successfully our kid to solve her own problems, if we take into consideration her developmental stage. In too many occasions, we run to the rescue, to help her solve her problems, although it’s not necessary. They don’t get the chance to think by themselves and act by themselves, even if they make mistakes. Encourage them to solve problems, this experience will help them down the road, when they will be able to see all the different aspects of one issue and solve highly complex problems, all by themselves. 

Problem-solving depends more on previous experience than on intelligence, and that also applies to adults. Every successful resolution means important know-how to solve future problems. 

The most ancient way of teaching is walking one’s talk, and that’s also valid today. If they see that, when we face an everyday problem, we stop to analyze it in a logical way, assessing and pondering the different alternatives, it will without doubt help her a lot. 

When they grow up, we’ll be able to teach them the importance of stopping to think things over carefully, identify and define a problem, gather the needed information and consider the various alternatives in order to find a well though-up solution. 

How to make friends 

To develop their social skills, kids need to learn and recognize social situations, her own needs, as well as others’, and respond correctly. 

This is important because peer’s refusal in childhood contributes to academic failure or learning deficiencies. 

The social skills can be taught, starting by practicing at home, making sure you’re a role model for your child, showing interest in him, encouraging him to express his thoughts and feelings and communicating yours to him, too. This way, your kid will have the opportunity to develop his skills to communicate with his equals. 

Many kids, even if they are very talkative, have difficulties expressing their needs or desires to others, and also to understand the desires and needs of others. 

It’s particularly important when kids change schools or are relocated, and want to make new friends. We can teach him observation and gradual approach techniques, to each of his classmates and peers. For instance, he would talk about play yard or recess, then he would show his interest about his friend’s likes and finally, he would do an effort to communicate his own likes and dislikes.   

Later on, they’ll learn to transmit his wishes clearly, inquire about others, show empathy, express affection and approval and offer help when appropriate. 

How do we take care of their emotions? 

Emotions are subjective affective states. They make us, for instance, feel happy or enraged. But they’re also biological responses, since our body gets into an “activating mode”, something that wouldn’t otherwise happen, had there not been any emotion. Breathing rhythm accelerates, muscles become tense, and our heart beats faster. Rage sets us up for a fight, fear sets us up to run away. They’re also social phenomena, since they produce characteristic facial and body expressions. 

They accomplish the function of leading a kid to his development, they enable him to become a happy grownup, but if this development is not on the right track, it can make him suffer personal and social problems. 

Openly talking about feelings with our children is the best way to teach them to understand and communicate their emotions, and the emotions of others. This, in turn, will facilitate their social interaction. It’s important for them to know how to express themselves with words, whenever they feel happy or sad, anguished, preoccupied, enthusiastic, angry, etc. Realizing what is happening to them is vital for him to achieve emotional control and to know how to listen and understand others. 

In this respect, boys have been more unfairly treated than girls. Many men have been instilled to disguise and hide their feelings…remember the old expression, “men don’t cry”. Due to this repressive social education, it’s very hard for many men to talk about feelings with their spouses, partners or friends. But if we talk about anger and rage management it’s the other way round: expression of rage and anger has been allowed to boys, but not to girls, and that’s also had a negative impact on men, therefore, let’s help them control these feelings. 

Let’s try to improve and enhance our boys’ as well as our girls’ EQ (Emotional Quotient), so that they can grow into more happier and successful people. 

 

Elisa Urbano

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