How to cultivate emotional intelligence in children!
For children to become individuals with well-rounded personalities, they require emotional intelligence. Though traditionally the focus has been on IQ, today EQ is truly the essential quotient. Let me tell you how important EQ is with an example.
Reena, a 16-year-old, has been a class topper right from grade 1 in all subjects. ‘Genius’, ‘Brilliant’, ‘Mastermind’, ‘Brainy’ – she is so used to being addressed thus by family and peers. Today, Reena is one of the contenders for the post of President in the Students Council Elections in her school. She is quite confident of winning the elections. However, the results have come as a big surprise. Reena has lost. Her rival, Zarina has won by a huge margin. Reena stunned.
Twenty-two years later…
The Medical Council Elections have just been conducted. Dr.Reena, the Chief Medical Officer at a multi-specialty hospital, is one of the contestants for the post of secretary. She stands with a proud tilt of her chin. The name tag on her medico’s coat proclaims flattering qualifications. The results are announced. Reena is once again stunned. She has lost-to the same rival Zarina, Head of Physiotherapy Department in a leading hospital.
So, what went wrong for Reena? Let’s analyse the personalities of Reena and Zarina to understand better.
Reena: High intelligence, singular focus on academics and career, high achiever, loner, poor people skills, insensitive to other’s feelings, generally grumpy, snapping at other often, frequent outbursts of emotion, not liked by peers.
Zarina: Average intelligence, above average achiever in academics, active participation in extra-curricular activities, friendly with all, pleasant countenance and manners, kind, controlled emotions, popular among peers.
Reena is a typical example that intelligence alone is not enough to succeed in life. Though is may appear to be enough for climbing up the professional ladder, as far as wholesome success is concerned, something more is required.
That ‘something more’ is EQ. It can be developed. While nature has a greater influence on IQ, nurture has a great influence on EQ.
Parents thus have a great responsibility on their shoulders to make their children emotionally intelligent for the future. Gone are the days when children used to live in joint families and learnt a lot without much attention from their parents. Now, they live in nuclear families with mostly working parents. So, taking good care of the children becomes all the more important for parents. I give below some ways for parents to help make their children emotionally smart and intelligent.
Regulate your own emotions
Parents should be role models while dealing with their emotions because children learn a lot through observation. Parents’ positive behaviour helps the children to regulate their emotions and adopt the right way to deal with their emotional disorders.
Be patient listener:
All the children want to be heard carefully irrespective of their age. When children don’t get a chance to express themselves, the emotions get bottled up inside and, then children have temper tantrums. Parents need to give all ears whenever they find their children ready to share something.
Apart from being patient, parents should be vigilant to any behavioural change in their children. In case of a behavioural change, either the child is not willing to express or is unable to explain the challenge that he/she is facing. Here, brain storming can be a useful tool to see how their children behave in a difficult situation, to find an opening to solve their problem. It would boost their confidence level.
Have an Empathetic Heart:
At times, even empathizing with the children is an effective solution when the situation is not very grave. This help to relax and soothes their nerves when they are struggling. Gradually, children develop this emotion of empathy as they receive it from others. Children thus find to pacify themselves.
Children may develop emotions which lead to fear. Parents should, by no means suppress such emotions or feelings tagging them as either unacceptable or shameful.
Spending quality time with your children in the above-mentioned ways, will bring about emotional stability in them and help develop emotional intelligence.
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