Did you know? The ability to communicate and grow emotionally can develop from an early age. Did you know what is emotional intelligence in children? What does an emotionally intelligent child mean? Did you know how to improve emotional intelligence in children? Well, that’s the topic we’ll cover in this article.
Before anything else: What is smart? What is emotional intelligence? What is smart emotionally? What do emotions mean? We answer it.
To be intelligent is to be capable of logic, of deduction, of abstraction. It is a hands-on response to IQ tests, which, inspired by the work of Alfred Binet, at the beginning of the 20th century, dominate the way of conceiving intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence (IE) is the ability to manage and positively use one’s emotions in one’s relationship with oneself and the world.
Being emotionally intelligent allows us to express our happiness, sadness, or anger appropriately. It also allows us to live in harmony with others, to be confident in ourselves, to be prepared to face setbacks, or to accept criticism, turning those moments into something constructive.
Who has developed this kind of emotional intelligence knows how to perceive their abilities, motivate themselves, and face the frustrations of life. He also has great empathy, that is, he is able to capture the emotions of others.
The term emotion is composed of the Latin verb “motere”, to move, and the prefix “e”, which means an outward movement. Emotion refers to a particular psychological and biological state that pushes to act.
Every day of our life, not to say every minute and every second we have to face our emotions and those of others. Emotions play a very important role in our life. They can sometimes dominate us, sometimes make us very happy and sometimes make us very unhappy.
Emotions are recognized as one of four types of mental operation, namely: motivation, emotions, cognitions, and (less frequently) consciousness. To better understand emotional intelligence, it would be necessary to understand not only the components of emotion but also the main areas of emotion.
I – How to Improve Emotional Intelligence in Children?
Children learn primarily by observing and imitating their parents. To have emotionally intelligent children parents must be emotionally intelligent and guide them through the world of emotions.
* Emotionally Intelligent (EI) parents accept the feelings of their children unconditionally. They do not try to deny these feelings or ignore them. They do not diminish their importance or ridicule the child who expresses them.
* EI (Emotionally Intelligent) parents are aware of their own emotions and those of their loved ones, even those considered negative such as sadness, rage, and fear.
* EI parents are not afraid to raise their emotions to their children. For example, they can cry in front of them when they are sad, they can get upset and tell their kids what makes them furious.
* EI parents understand emotions and trust themselves to express anger, sadness, and fear in a constructive way. They know they are an example for their children since the emotional expression of a parent can give the child very valuable information on how to manage their feelings.
For example, a child who sees his parents arguing and then resolving differences amicably learns a rich lesson about conflict resolution and relationship stability. A child who sees his parents extremely sad, following the death of a loved one, can learn how to live and overcome grief and despair, especially if parents support and console each other. The child can then learn that sharing sadness leads to being more united.
* EI parents do not try to protect their children from emotionally charged situations, they know that children need these experiences to learn how to manage their emotions.
* When EI parents hurt their child, they are not ashamed to ask for forgiveness and to learn from the incident, teaching them to deal with embarrassing emotions such as shame, guilt, and remorse.
* EI parents do not overprotect their children, they trust them, knowing that the child’s self-esteem grows with every opportunity he has to solve his own problems by himself.
* EI parents set limits and give their children clear and consistent messages about acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. When a child knows the rules and understands the consequences if they are not respected, he feels more responsible for his behavior.
Emotional education works well with types of discipline based on clear rules and consistent consequences for bad behavior.
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Building Emotional Intelligence : Practices to Cultivate Inner Resilience in Children
By (author) Linda Lantieri
In Building Emotional Intelligence, Linda Lantieri presents a breakthrough guide to help children respond to and rebound from the challenges unique to our times. For counselors, educators, caregivers, and parents, this book offers useful techniques proven to help children to improve concentration and awareness, increase self-esteem, and improve communication and empathy. Step by step, children will learn how to calm their bodies, quiet their minds, and control their emotions more skillfully. This authoritative guide is designed according to age group and complemented by spoken-word exercises added by bestselling author Daniel Goleman.
II – The Components and Main Areas of Emotion
In talking about the components of emotion, we take into account the following elements: self-awareness, empathy, self-confidence, personal efficiency, interpersonal understanding, and social interaction.
*** The Components of Emotion
* To know oneself: to know one’s feelings, to understand the relation between thoughts, feelings, and actions.
* Understand oneself: identify one’s tendencies in one’s emotional life, recognize those same tendencies in others.
* Integrate your feelings: be aware of your inner dialogue, see how you manage your experiences, discover the determining feelings.
* To reveal oneself: improve emotional intelligence in children by developing an openness, to create trust in one’s relationships. Determine when this revelation is appropriate.
* Accept the other: consider it with a positive attitude. Consider similarities and differences as an asset.
* Listen to the other: develop openness, welcome, interest in the experience of others.
* Understand the feelings of others: to perceive the feelings and concerns of others, to grasp their point of view.
* To accept oneself: to consider oneself with a positive attitude, to feel pride, to recognize one’s strengths and weaknesses.
* Assert yourself: express your feelings and concerns without aggression or passivity. Assume your personal experience. Send messages I.
– Personal Efficiency
* Make conscious decisions: examine one’s actions and evaluate their consequences, anticipate them.
* To assume one’s responsibilities: to recognize the consequences of one’s decisions and actions. Honoring your commitments.
* Manage stress: learn value and visualization techniques, relaxation.
– Interpersonal Understanding
* Understanding relationships: Capturing the effect of one’s behavior on the feelings of others and the effects of others’ behaviors on one’s feelings.
* Understand the dynamics of inclusion and influence in a group.
– Social Interaction
* Work in groups, in teams: cooperate, know when and how to lead, when and how to collaborate, when and how to trust.
* Resolve conflicts: honestly confront others. Recognize reciprocal needs. Negotiate with creativity and respect.
*** The Main Areas of Emotion
– The knowledge of emotions. It’s the ability to identify your own emotions.
– The control of his emotions. It is the ability to adapt one’s feelings to each situation and it depends on one’s self-awareness.
– Motivation. People who possess this ability are generally extremely productive and efficient in everything they do.
– The perception of the emotions of others. These people are then gifted for teaching, sales, management, and other trades where interest in others is paramount.
– The mastery of human relations. Knowing how to maintain good relationships with others is largely about knowing how to manage their emotions.
III – What Is an Emotionally Intelligent Child?
In children, being emotionally intelligent means knowing how to recognize one’s emotions and those of others, being able to control one’s impulses, knowing how to motivate oneself, knowing how to delay gratifications, and in general being able to face the ups and downs with realism and optimism, and the lows of life.
Psychology research shows that emotionally healthy children have better health, better academic qualifications, better relationships with peers, less behavioral problems, less violence, and more positive feelings. In addition, they are able to console themselves more quickly after a disappointment and to recover more easily from discouragement or anguish in order to return to productive activities.
IV – Help to Improve Emotional Intelligence in Children
Parents can encourage the emotional learning of their child in two ways: Through education and by example.
*** Educate Feelings
It is possible to teach a child to distinguish and express feelings. When a child falls, he starts crying. If he wants something and you do not give in, he starts crying too. Rather than forcing him to shut up, ignore him, or comfort him, you can make an exchange with him and make him understand that crying because you hurt yourself or crying for a whim are two different things.
Parents must teach their children to understand the nuances of different feelings. You must teach him the difference between the feeling of discontent because you did not buy him a toy and the sadness he feels when he does not want to go to the nursery; melancholy when it is rejected by other children of his age and suffering when something bad happens to a loved one.
Mom and dad need to help their child express the emotions they feel, but they also have to be the first to express their emotions correctly, because a parent who adopts inappropriate attitudes, shouting at his child, for example, will not help his child to recognize his feelings.
*** Teach Self-Control: Teach Your Child to Respond Constructively
Parents who manage to teach their children about self-control have something in common: they have developed six healthy habits that allow them to face their child’s emotions head-on:
* They are sensitive to the emotional state of their child and always engage in conversation with him or her if there is something wrong.
* They encourage their child to reveal his emotions and take this opportunity to teach him self-control and get closer to him.
* They make the conscious effort to name the emotions so that their child learns to correctly identify their own feelings.
* They empathize while listening to their child, and frequently reinforce their feelings.
* They encourage their child to look for solutions to the problem himself.
* They establish clear behavioral norms and teach their child to differentiate between appropriate behaviors (when expressing emotions) and unacceptable behavior.
All this will help to improve emotional intelligence in children.
V – The Emotional Intelligence of Teachers and Academic Success
Education does not only involve intellectual, cultural, or technical learning. But also emotional education, which includes a variety of learning related to self-knowledge, development of personal skills, relationship, social and communication.
It is now also indisputable that all learning, and therefore any academic success, depends essentially on factors closely related to the emotional. Academic success is based on a combination of attitudes, belief patterns, emotional states, and a learning context – the latter conditioning considerably the former. It follows, of course, that any teacher, in order to be effective, must necessarily be able to deal with the relational and communicative aspects of teaching which have nothing to do with the subject he is teaching.
*** How Emotions Affect Performance
In this perspective, the teacher is invited to perform a whole series of reframing his pedagogical action. He is now a mediator/facilitator in a learning process, rather than a role model or information provider. He asks more questions than offers answers, guiding the discovery rather than evaluating assimilation. It supports, appreciates, and encourages rather than indicates errors or deficiencies
* It will be necessary to know how to help identify the negative patterns and to make the choice to reframe them into positive affirmations.
* It will be necessary to give back to the pupil his power, to recognize his choices and to help him to clarify his intentions, to identify, if necessary, objectives and more satisfactory choices.
* It will help him to identify his resources as well as his own mode, style, and pace of learning.
* Recognizing that the environment plays an important role, the teacher will need to know how to modify certain environmental aspects in order to explore different perspectives and experiences.
* It will facilitate group processes and manage the dynamics in order to achieve a positive and stimulating environment in which everyone feels heard and recognized.
* It will recognize, welcome, and manage emotions, demonstrating a personal mastery, acceptance, and ability to reflect, each referring to his own experience, his own learning, inviting him to take responsibility, and to resolve possible conflicts.
*** The Awakening of Emotional Intelligence
This is essential for the child and student to understand what emotions are in order to give them the chance to get out of their rights of way and get the most out of their well-being. Hence the importance of learning, as early as possible in childhood, to master them and to prevent them from being born.
– The Objectives of the Awakening of Emotional Intelligence
* Define what emotion is, what it brings as a change in the body, and its characteristics.
* Understand how learning an emotion
* Study the stages that emotion follows its speed of reaction, its functioning, its relations with the thought, the system of beliefs and values of the individual.
* Discover the importance of pleasure
* Learn to set goals and achieve them
* Describe how a decision is made
* Explain the role of nonverbal language in communication
* Study personality traits
* See the benefits of the teachings of emotional intelligence
* Enable to increase emotional intelligence by giving practical exercises and concrete techniques
* Learn how to defuse an emotion, especially not to let it emerge
* Control your thoughts
* Learn to prepare for the uncontrollable and the unpredictable.
– In a Second Step, the Awakening of the Emotional Intelligence Leads the Student To:
* Identify your own emotions and those of others
* Express your emotions correctly and help others to express your own
* Understand your own emotions and those of others
* Manage your emotions and adapt to those of others
* Use emotions and emotional intelligence skills to communicate well, make good decisions, motivate and motivate others, and maintain good interpersonal relationships.