When stress is high, it is more important than ever for children to learn how to deal with their emotions.
Parents can use the following tips to help them.
Create a family charter. Before you can start becoming a more emotionally intelligent family, you need to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Create a family charter that defines how you want the family to feel and how you will approach constructive conflict, between each other and with the outside world.
Take a moment. When the world goes wild, and out of control, one of the healthiest reactions, we can teach our children is to pause for a moment.
To stop, take a deep breath, acknowledge what is being felt and visualise the best response to deal with the situation.
Model emotional intelligence. We can explain what emotional intelligence is and why it is so important. Still, nothing can teach our children the true impact of it better than modelling it themselves.
Celebrate your child’s emotional intelligence. When a child begins to show emotional intelligence, reward and celebrate that behaviour. Positive reinforcement is far more powerful than spending energy on the rebuke of negative behaviour.
Be okay with your feelings.Children must understand that being emotionally intelligent does not mean that negative emotions are rejected or denied.
It also does not mean that you do not feel anxiety or anger or sadness. It means knowing how to recognise and process those emotions in a healthy, constructive way.
Visit the family charter regularly. Watch regularly to see how you as a family are doing to become more emotionally intelligent. Recognise progress, as well as areas in which you can do better.
Make it a positive experience and name moments of emotional intelligence. Give examples that can be repeated in the future. Keep the momentum going.
The harsh reality is that many of our children are currently in pain. Their worlds have been turned inside out, and they are doing their best to meet school, family, and life demands.
What they need is the tools and expertise to deal with their emotions. This is what emotional intelligence can do. The beautiful thing is that we become more emotionally intelligent when we teach our children about it.