You want to raise children who are emotionally intelligent and responsible? Well, you're in luck! This article will help teach you how.
All parents want their children to become successful adults, but what does success really mean?
Success means having a good job and being able to support themselves; it means living independently; it also means maintaining strong relationships with family and friends.
We all know that raising children is hard work... But if we make the effort now, they'll reap the benefits later on in life.
Establish clear boundaries and rules for your children.
Your children need clear boundaries and rules to guide them through life so that they don't fall into bad habits - make sure your child/children understand the consequences of their actions, otherwise nothing will get done.
When you set limits that are too loose, you lose any incentive for good behavior because it doesn't result in anything more than a pat on the back or praise from you as the parent.
If you're not careful, this could lead to over-indulgence, which can cause problems later down the road, if they develop an "entitlement" mindset (i.e.: believing things should come easily to them).
This type of thinking isn't strictly related directly to emotional intelligence (EQ) but having high EQ skills does make it easier for people to learn how to be responsible humans.
Establishing clear boundaries and rules could also help your child/children develop responsibility skills, which will carry them into adulthood successfully.
Responsibility is defined as the state of being accountable for one's actions - having to own up to things that you said or did wrong; it means accepting accountability for mistakes rather than trying to dodge blame because you're afraid of being reprimanded by someone else.
When parents try to micromanage their child's life from a young age, they'll soon feel completely comfortable handing over responsibilities later on in life as they've been doing most things independently since childhood with a watchful eye supervising them all the time... BUT, this isn't really that healthy!
To ensure success throughout one's life, children need to feel like they can be trusted and that it is ok for them to make mistakes on their own.
Use this opportunity as a teaching moment: teach your child/children what responsibility means by giving them chances throughout childhood so that when they reach adulthood and are in charge of their own lives successfully, they'll thank you because those lessons will have been invaluable.
Letting go of control over time spent with friends or alone could also help develop emotional intelligence too .
As a parent, it's completely natural to feel uncomfortable with the idea of your child/children spending time on their own or hanging out without you. Maybe they'll come home later than expected?
Or maybe - god forbid! - they might get into some kind of trouble when you're not around... However, this is something that needs to happen in order for them to develop responsibility and emotional intelligence skills: by pushing through our discomfort and allowing our children independence, we can help contribute towards developing these important life skills.
A lack of boundaries could also stunt growth emotionally too - if parents never offer guidance about appropriate/inappropriate behavior, children will most likely be unsupervised which adds up to "no discipline at all" and lands both your child and you in just as much hot water!
Setting boundaries also helps to ensure that your child/children are staying true to themselves in their own way, which will help them feel more comfortable in life.
Having the support of our parents as we try new things is so important because it can be scary trying something for the first time - especially if you're not sure how people might react.
Being surrounded by love and support from those who have been there before us will give them confidence to take on some pretty big challenges.
If a parent stifles this process too much, it will have a knock-on effect on the child's emotional development.
Parents should always keep an open mind about what's going on inside their children's lives: no matter how old children get, they'll still need guidance every now and again through each stage of their life.
Teach them empathy by teaching them about others' feelings.
Part of teaching your child/children to be emotionally intelligent is to teach them empathy for others and to be aware of the feelings of other people.
As children grow, it is important to teach them that everyone is different and that we all feel differently at various times: teaching empathy means working towards developing an understanding about other peoples' emotions and what makes them happy or sad, etc...
Children need to learn this in a safe environment - for example, if they've hurt someone's feelings by accident - so talking through situations like these with your child will help them put themselves in someone else's shoes when needed.
If you're having trouble figuring out where to begin helping your child develop emotional intelligence skills , try role-playing some hypothetical scenarios with them on their own first - you can then work up from there as they get more comfortable.
Role-playing is an excellent tool to help children develop emotional intelligence skills because they are able to play out situations without actually experiencing them firsthand - it's kind of like practicing for the real thing.
If your child is nervous about something, role playing will help them see what could happen and how they might feel in different scenarios so they can prepare themselves accordingly .
This is not necessarily an easy process but trust us, it will be worth it..!
Encourage your child to speak up if they feel hurt or upset
Now, this one is an important one; one that even adults can struggle with and that can make it difficult to teach their child/children to do, if this is not something they completely grasped (or were even taught) growing up.
Think about it: if your child/children are unable to speak up for themselves or ask for what they want, how will they know when something is amiss?
If you have a history of not speaking up yourself, this might be an issue so start listening to your own feelings now - take note of the situations where you find it difficult to express yourself and think about why that is.
It's only by being honest with ourselves first that we can begin making changes towards becoming better communicators and parents.
Our children need to learn these skills because life doesn't always give us things at just the right time.
Sometimes there are hiccups along the way but if kids do not learn how to speak up for themselves, they'll struggle through life.
Encourage them to ask questions if something is bothering them because everyone has the right to feel comfortable and happy in their own skin (and within their environment).
Help your child/children express their feelings by teaching them that what's on the inside - emotions - affects us physically; it shows on our faces, therefore making others feel uncomfortable...
This will take time but you can help children become more aware of other peoples' body language which may give away some clues as to someone's thoughts or moods at any given moment... For example, maybe you're aware that your child gets a slight nervous tic (restless legs) when they are upset? That's not something that happens by accident - it's a way of showing their frustration with the world around them.
Encourage your child to ask questions if they are upset about anything because children need to know how to express their emotions in an appropriate fashion.
It might be difficult for you at first if this isn't something you've had experience with yourself but, by being patient and practicing these things together, over time, any negative feelings will dissipate as more positive ones come into play.
Praise effort, not just results
This is one of the most important pieces to remember because children need to know that their efforts are just as - if not, more - valuable than what they accomplish.
When you praise your child/children for being "smart" or doing well in school, it can put a negative spin on things later down the line.
Research has shown that this type of reinforcement actually makes students become less interested in learning and puts too much pressure on kids who may already be struggling with certain things but feel like they must maintain high grades nonetheless.
This subsequently leads to an increased dropout rate which means your hard work, time and money will all have been spent for nothing...
Use a tone of voice that is nurturing, not critical or judgmental.
When you praise your child/children, make sure to do so in a way that is encouraging.
Instead of saying "you're so smart" say something along the lines of: "Wow! I'm really proud of how hard you studied for this test". Your tone should be sincere and uplifting rather than critical or judgmental.
Children need to know they are loved unconditionally - just as they are right now , no matter what grades they get on their report card.
It's also important not to push children too much because it can have very negative consequences later down the line when these kids become adults with an inability to take initiative, etc...
Praise effort instead results; use a nurturing voice , not critical or judgmental; and don't push children too hard when they're young.
The most important thing is to just keep practicing the right ways of communicating with your kids/children so that, eventually, it becomes second nature for them which will benefit them greatly as adults.
Give children time to express themselves and be heard.
When they're upset about anything, encourage them to ask questions so that they know how to express their emotions in an appropriate fashion.
This is not going to happen overnight, however, you can help children become more aware of other peoples' body language which may give away some clues as to someone's thoughts or moods at any given moment...
Kids learn empathy by learning about the feelings of others.
Children are more likely to be empathetic if they have clear boundaries and rules set for them, as well as parents who teach them how to identify their own emotions, understand why other people act the way they do, and speak up when someone is hurting or upsetting them.
It's important to be aware of your tone when speaking to children, as a nurturing voice can help them feel more comfortable and open up.
When you praise their effort rather than just the results, they'll have increased confidence in themselves because it helps them understand that there is no such thing as failure.
Giving children time for self-expression will also increase their sense of control over their own lives - and, by extension, their futures.
We hope these tips give you some ideas on how best to communicate with kids so that everyone feels heard and respected.