How would you like to raise emotionally intelligent children?
I believe your answer is a definite ‘YES’.
Being a parent is hard. Dealing with the challenging emotions of your child is even harder. And if you don’t give your child the tools they need to deal with these emotions, seeing them through can seem impossible. That’s why emotional coaching is so important. Emotional coaching can help a young child deal with difficult emotions. Small moments spent can be turned into lessons of empathy, understanding and emotional growth. By welcoming our child’s thoughts and concerns, we allow them a safe space to be vulnerable without judgment and build their emotional literacy. Children need ways to navigate and handle those big feelings that rise within. Once children master this important life skill, emotionally intelligent children will enjoy increased self-confidence, greater physical health, better performance in school, and healthier social relationships. What is experienced and imprinted during childhood defines adult mental life. Raising an emotionally intelligent child will enrich the bonds between parent and child and contribute immeasurably to the development of a generation of emotionally healthy adults.
You’ve got this parenting thing figured out, right? It is nearly impossible to slow down in our fast-paced, well-connected world. Don’t get me wrong: I love our hustle and bustle, but some days it is harder than others to slow down and match the pace of wide-eyed wonder of children. Since the beginning of time, children have lit unusual fires in their parents with questions that adults can barely decipher. BUT – How do we do it? The truth is, there is no single way. Parents and caregivers must be willing to break away from the crowd, ignore the average methods, and not settle for the ordinary. We are able to achieve the desired results by observing some common qualities and principles. These combination of supportive relationships, adaptive skill-building, and positive experiences provide the protection that children need, from development disruption and build the foundation of resilience.
They are simple and considered to be common sense, but can be difficult to apply in real life scenarios.
There are three key approaches to the process of raising emotionally intelligent children:
- Parents love and respect themselves
It is said that you cannot give what you don’t have. Therefore, to give honest, deep and sincere love to your children, you need to start by giving and receiving it from yourself. You do that through respect, trust and bringing a sense of joy to being who you are. This allows you to be in harmony with your environment. When you love yourself, you are more supportive, cooperative, and interested in others. You want them to flourish for their own benefit, with no hidden agendas.
There is no ‘one manual’ to being the perfect parent. Start with the first step; cultivate self-love. Self-love is about cultivating gratitude, acceptance and appreciation toward yourself, physically and emotionally. Self-love also means loving yourself unapologetically. Doing this, you can continue to develop into the best version of yourself and create a harmonious relationship with your children.
2. Parents love and respect each other
The best security blanket a child can have is parents who respect each other. However, your actions toward and in front of your children also have a strong impact. Show affection for your partner in front of your children. It starts with behaviour that is consistent with what you say: Hold hands, hug, kiss, complement each other’s achievements, actions, attributes and reinforce how good a parent they are. Children are keen observers and parents are their best model.
3. Parents unconditionally love the child
There is no such thing as too much love. A continuous flow of love and approval from the parents to the child is the child’s lifeline to emotional and physical health during the formative years.
It’s important and easy to say “I love you” frequently, but nothing speaks love louder to those we love than spending quality time with them. Make it a priority to set aside consistent and uninterrupted blocks of time to connect with them. That will say “I love you” loud and clear.
In addition, give your children continual praise and encouragement for the positive things they do, even small things. Praise and reinforce what you would like to see repeated. It encourages good patterns of behaviour. Praising them publicly builds their self-esteem and self-confidence. Positive reinforcement through talks and conversation will encourage it to continue.
** Be creative and look for nonverbal ways to praise or encourage your child. A thumbs up, smile or high five can be powerful ways to show your child you’re impressed by their behaviour or efforts.
As parents, we have a powerful influence on the ways in which our children cope with the emotions they experience. It should be an understanding and supportive approach to their feelings, where we acknowledge them as valid experiences and views them as allies in managing the ups and downs of life. Be very clear with your child that nothing he or she does could ever cause you to love him or her less than 100%. The most wonderful gift you can give your child is the absolute conviction that you love him or her completely, without reservation, no matter what he or she does and no matter what happens. Constantly and consistently praise your children for their good behaviours, tell them how much you love them, show them love by cuddling and kissing them, tell them they are going to become a big success.
Life moves fast and with time seemingly running quicker than we can grasp, these bits of gratitude and appreciation easily get lost. Remember to thank your children for their support, their efforts and contributions to the family.
Decide today to stop chasing emotional intelligence for your children. It is important to understand why these basic concepts are important in cultivating social and emotional literacy. Reinvent your mind and follow these three actions:
- Love yourself unconditionally
- Love your partner unconditionally
- Love your child unconditionally
You will discover great joy when you choose to learn about loving yourself and others
and access the incredible power of love to harness emotional intelligence in children. Tune into your self-station and emotional coaching success, will be guaranteed.
And finally, none of these traits are genetic! They can be learned! They are free and they are skills you can use. Start now!