Alexandria- Lately we as a community, and as a nation, have faced school shootings, reckless bullying and witnessed the disassociation and lack of empathy of the next generation, while locally we have recently seen one teen gunned down in broad daylight while 5 others went to jail for it.
We look around for someone to blame, but in reality it comes down to something called emotional intelligence. It is time to educate ourselves on how to emotionally educate our children, and we can only do that if we first emotionally educate ourselves, after all, we must lead by example.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) hinges on a number of things, but one thing is certain, it is vital for the wellbeing of your child both now and in the future. Many times we hear the phrase “what’s wrong with these children today.” Well, the answer is “a lack of emotional intelligence.”
In today’s world with the challenges that children face they must be emotionally secure and strong. They simply face a number of things that we never could have imagined at their age, and knowing how to prepare our children for these battles as well as life on life’s terms has never been more critical. You not only help your child become a sound and wise individual, but in some instances suicides and school shootings and even bullying can be avoided.
A child can become more able to manage his or her emotions in a healthy way as well as be able to understand the way to relate to others and even negative situations while respecting the feelings of their peers, and this is what raising an emotionally intelligent child looks like.
Emotional Intelligence is relatively new concept. The term was first introduced in early 90s by Peter Salovey, Professor at Psychology Department at Yale University. In 1995, David Goleman published a book "Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ", that quickly become a bestseller.
The statement in the title of this book has been confirmed by many research studies: apparently, it is true that EQ is the best predictor of future success, much better than IQ or any other factor.
Thinking of EQ it is important to understand the profound difference that it can and will make in the life of your child, but in order to understand that you first must know what emotional intelligence comes down to.
EQ is a child’s ability to assess, identify and control their emotions. These are becoming rare traits nowadays. While there is some criticism on whether or not this is a real type of intelligence and whether or not it actually has any incremental validity over what is known as the Big Five personality traits and IQ or not.
What people need to understand is that the distinction between ability to exhibit emotional intelligence and trait emotional intelligence however was not introduced until 2000. It is now known that people, and this includes children, have the ability to perceive emotions, use those emotions and even to understand them.
When all of these abilities are honed then managing emotions is much easier and done in a far healthier manner. This healthy emotional intelligence will induce a strong and positive self-awareness in your child. They will know how to self-regulate, manage relationships and control impulses as well as become more socially confident.
Healthy emotional intelligence builds empathy which is something that we have seen vanish in the internet age. They will also not disassociate as many children tent to do today. You will find that emotionally intelligent children have more direction, motivation and emotional competency that others who are not emotionally intelligence, and it is safe to say that these emotionally intelligent children will go on to lead happier, healthier and more successful, productive adult lives as well.
As parents, we want the best and brightest future for our children. In the article “Emotional Intelligence or How to Raise your Child to be Happy” child psychologist Dr. Tali Shenfield talks about parent's role in raising emotionally healthy child: "A parent’s role includes leading by example, listening respectively and helping children talk about hard feelings. Talking about feelings openly and honestly teaches the child that feelings are important and should be paid attention to. "
Look, helping your child be emotionally sound and have a higher self-esteem is so important, and it only takes empowering yourself and them through knowledge. Take the time to read up on a few things that could change your lives and your child’s future. It won’t cost you a penny, but it may turn out to be priceless.