Emotional intelligence is not something everyone is born with. Like any important life skill, it takes time to cultivate intelligence surrounding their emotions. If you want to indulge in mindful parenting, showing your kids how to understand emotions, feelings, and more will set your child up for success in life and allow them to be sensitive to the world and those around them.
Teach Them to Understand Their Feelings
Kids will experience many feelings as they grow up, and some of these feelings might not be familiar to them. This is especially true for so-called negative emotions, such as anger or sadness. While joy, happiness, and contentment are all things that kids will not have an issue with, it’s important that you talk about feelings that they are unsure of to help them understand them better. If you allow your home to be a safe place to discuss these feelings, your kids will have the confidence to talk about any feelings they don’t understand, and you can guide them in the right direction to help them manage them.
Teach Them to Listen
Listening is an important element of emotional intelligence, but as people love talking about themselves, they might miss out on learning how to listen. When talking with your child about anything – no matter how trivial it might seem to you – you must encourage them to listen as much (and arguably even more) as they talk. Teaching kids to listen will make them more successful in school and it can also help them understand other people’s perspectives without solely thinking about themselves.
Teach Them About Tricky Subjects
Many parents don’t want to expose their kids to the bad things in life. These tricky subjects can include discrimination, death, and other issues that they will need to encounter at some point in life, even if these encounters are not direct. While you mustn’t push doom and gloom onto your kids (especially not at a young age), they still need to learn about them. If you have experienced a death in the family, it’s best to talk about these instances with them. You can take them to the graveyard and let them say as much or as little as they need. While there, you may need to answer difficult questions about what death is or even explain gravestone cleaning or gravesite maintenance so they get an idea of why people continue to visit loved ones even after they have passed.
Teach Them to Express Themselves
Your child’s self-expression is one of the most important tools they will have in their life. Your child doesn’t need to be a talented artist or musician to embrace this self-expression. If you can show them the multiple ways to express themselves, they’ll have an outlet to work through issues in their life. You might want them to speak to you about these issues, but kids are not always comfortable with this. By showing them they can find an outlet for dealing with their emotions, they will be able to overcome confusing emotions more easily.
Teach Them to Empathise
Empathy will also be an important tool for your kids to learn that can strengthen their emotional intelligence. There are many ways that kids can learn how to empathise with other people, especially in scenarios where they might not understand plights and experiences. The obvious way to teach this is through reading a wide range of literature from different sources. Movies and TV shows can also help. But, if you want to take a hands-on approach, showing that you understand their thoughts and ideas (even if you don’t entirely agree) will encourage them to model this behaviour when exposed to other people and their thoughts or feelings.
Teach Them to Solve Problems
If your child has ever encountered a difficult situation and told you they want to give up, you need to find something that encourages them to persevere and learn how to solve problems. Problem-solving is a crucial skill that will help them throughout school, work and the rest of their lives, so encouraging them to keep trying and look at the problem from different angles is essential. It’s not enough for kids to give up at the first sign of hardship, so help them discover all the tools they have at their disposal to overcome issues.
Kids of all ages can struggle with their emotions. Young children might not understand feelings like anger or disappointment, whereas teens going through puberty can feel confused about new emotions they experience. By teaching your kids emotional intelligence early, they will be better equipped to deal with everything life throws at them.