What is all this hype about emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence is the new buzzword in education and parenting. Research has shown that it is an important factor in helping our kids have healthy relationships with their spouses, friends and co-workers. Adults who are emotionally intelligent are happier and more satisfied with their lives. Kids who are emotionally intelligent are better behaved, more resilient, responsible and calmer and are more likely to be emotionally intelligent adults.
There are kids who are naturally intelligent emotionally. They get along easier with others, their parents, teachers and friends. They are more resilient, they bounce back easily from disappointment. They are able to monitor and manage their feelings, the have self-control (Ability to resist temptation in the service of a higher goal) and they naturally take into consideration the feelings of others. We all know and like these kids. But what if your child is not like this? What if he is one of those kids who gets upset easily and is more uptight?
Fortunately, research has shown that emotional intelligence can be taught.
One great way to teach emotional intelligence in our homes is to let your family members know that they can and should take breaks from one another when emotions are running high.
When kids are fighting we can gently separate them and encourage them to find a quiet place to recharge. We can say, “Looks like you are having trouble getting along. Now is a good time to play quietly far away from each other.”
We (the parents) can also role model emotionally intelligent language:
“Boy, I am in a bad mood. I need a couple of minutes of quiet to pull myself out of this funk. I’ll be in my room if you need me.”
Family life is not always easy. Finding ways to cope can ease the tensions that arise. Treating others and yourself with respect when you are not at your best helps keep everyone on an even keel. This is a great way to encourage emotional intelligence at home.