Every parent, and caregiver, wants to give their children the best chance to succeed at life.

Time and time again when speaking to early childhood educators they mention parents concern, and anxiety, of their children’s academic development in preschool. Did you know that many early childhood educators focus not so much on developing children’s “academic skills” per-say (i.e., reading, writing etc) rather focus on developing children’s social and emotional skills. Can they share, take turns, wait, make friends?

The world has changed and is continuing to at a rapid pace. Being offered a job is just as much about your skill as it is about your ability to be liked and get along with others.

Many innovative businesses around the globe now hire based on an applicants level of EQ, before their level of skill. “Hire for attitude, train for skill” is a phrase you may have heard before.

Many psychologists over time have mentioned that the ability to manage your emotions in a healthy way will determine the quality of your life much more fundamentally than your IQ. Psychologists call this ability EQ, or Emotional Intelligence Quotient.

The concept of why emotional intelligence is so important in raising a child may be a new concept to many parents, however it is one that is vitally important for  a child’s development and to have more control of their emotions.

Dad and son child flying a kite in summer nature

Your child’s EQ starts with their relationship with you, here’s a few ways you can help strengthen it:

1-Acknowledge your child’s perspective and empathise

Showing empathy and acceptance helps children accept their emotions, which allows them to let go and move on of their troublesome feelings. When you show empathy it teaches them that they are not alone.

2-Control your own emotions

Demonstrate how they need to choose how they feel and what to do with those feelings. What they see you do is what they will do.

Children feed off the emotions of their parents, which can either calm and soothe or stimulate anxiety.

3-Encourage your child to self soothe

*Babies brains and nerves don’t develop adequately unless they are held and comforted when upset.

*Infants need to be soothed for their nervous system to lay down the pathways that wold later allow them to soothe themselves.

*Toddlers may find it difficult to self soothe as talking about emotions can make them anxious, however you can Talk  about your own emotions. Speak to them about your emotions sharing how you feel. This will let them know how to determine their emotions once they are feeling them.

4-Help your child recognise their emotions.

Helping the child recognise their emotions is helping them name these emotions. Either they be sadness, anger, frustration or happiness, their ability to name them is crucial in helping know what these feelings mean.

5-Active listening aids in diffusing intense feelings

Once emotions have been acknowledged they usually defuse. Repressed feeling don’t fade away, as feelings do once they have been expressed.

By listening to their feelings doesn’t mean you agree with them, rather you’re showing them you understand.

And for new parents embrace your baby and respond when they cry:

Babies develop feelings of security and trust in infancy, high EQ starts in infancy.

Showing how you feel to your child can also help them realise the effort behind the feeling of love and care. This could be in the form of communicating how you take care of the things they need attending to.

Strengthening your child’s EQ is a conscious commitment.

Children need the experience of feeling emotions and practice tolerating them to develop self control, to help develop emotional regulation and emotional intelligence.

You might also like to read:

How to Raise Good Little People

The Long Road to Independence

15 Ways to Help Raise Compassionate Children