Today we’re going to talk about emotions, and as a parent, we get a lot of information about how to raise an emotionally intelligent child, and that is a great goal to have. But that is the end of a huge process. So we’re gonna give you some steps to follow.
The first thing is about something you can work on with your young children, but definitely something that you can use with all aged kids. And that is to label your emotions and your child’s emotions. What that could look like is “wow you are really frustrated that you can’t get your shoes on” or “you can’t get that square peg into that round hole” or “you are really angry that I won’t give you more juice “.
Labeling emotions on your child is important, so your child gets the words and understands the feeling and then when they see the emotions of anger on your face and they then begin to make the connection: “oh that’s what anger feels like“, “oh that’s what anger looks like on another person“, and so that begins the process of understanding emotions which is the building block to getting too emotional intelligence. You need to be short and brief about what it feels like and what it looks like, to make it really helpful for apologies. So instead of a forced apology, you have to say you’re sorry to the kid at the park that you hit in the face with a shovel or whatever that is. You can use it as “look at that boy’s face, how does that boy feel“, and then offer “would you like to apologize or if you feel like apologizing“ , because that is more impactful than forcing them to say they’re sorry, especially in a public situation.
You can also use it with siblings. If siblings are arguing or fighting or hurting each other, you can use it as “look at his face what is he feeling, and then look in his face what is he feeling“ and that way they can begin to understand how someone is feeling, and how it relates to how they’re feeling, and then that feeling of empathy can eventually be born.
So also observing real-life experiences. If you are in line at a public place, and someone in front of you is very angry and frustrated, you can talk about it with your kid. Maybe not having a conversation with your ten-year-old right in your shot of that person because he or she is having a hard time, but maybe in the car right on the way home. Talking about “did you notice how frustrated that woman was feeling ?” and then discuss what kind of things that she might have done or ways that she might have been feeling based on what was happening. So there are so many ways of labeling your emotions with your kid and make him or her emotional but stronger at the same time.