I’m excited to welcome Emma Lawson and her inspirational guest post. When you become a parent, your whole world changes and you realize there is nothing more important than happiness and wellbeing of your children. You can spend less money and time on yourself if that means they will have more, and you do whatever you can so they feel love and support coming from you. Nevertheless, you are always worried about them, if they are safe, sound, healthy, and above all, if they are honest and faithful. Helping them grow up to become emotionally stable adults is the best thing you can do for your kids.
Books are your friends
When you start researching about emotional intelligence, you will browse the web and the library, and read hundreds of pages in search of information that can help you master the subject. However, when it comes to your child, blogs and encyclopedias probably will not seem inviting or amusing. Luckily, there are many books that help you explain different emotions and explore the ways you can handle them better. These books will help you to convey the message of tranquility, empathy, and acceptance through nursery rhymes, lovely short texts, and beautiful drawings.
There are no ‘bad’ emotions
No matter what happens, assure your child that feeling certain emotion does not make them bad. We all get sad and angry from time to time, and it is only our incontrollable actions that stem from those motions that can be bad because they can hurt us and other people. There is time and place for any emotion, when they are upset, help them identify it by saying something like: “I can see you are upset, let’s take a moment and calm down, shall we?”. Help them find the way to feel better, sometimes they will need a hug, and sometimes some time alone, and that is okay. Also, let them know that it is okay to cry when they are upset, tears release stress hormone from our bodies and they will feel better.
Teach them empathy and gentleness
While it is important to talk to your children about feelings, it is equally important to generate and demonstrate good feelings. Children can be confused and a bit jealous when they get baby brothers and sisters, and by asking them to help around the baby you will show them how good they can feel by helping you and being the responsible and strong older sibling. They can help you prepare baby food, hold their younger sibling wrapped tightly in baby swaddle and sing them a lullaby, or help you with feeding them. It will make them feel important, like a real big brother or sister, and they will be protective of their siblings as they grow.
Turn it into a game
As a parent, you quickly learn that by turning pretty much anything into a game will make it instantly fun for kids, and they will not hesitate to take part in the activity, be it chores or homework. Just so it happens that you can play games that are going to teach your child to identify emotions and it will help them face those emotions once they feel them. Use printable charts to show how different emotions can look like, ask your child to draw some of them, and come up with a story of why the people they drew are feeling the way they do. This will teach them to empathize and recognize emotions other people are feeling.
Emotional intelligence is incredibly important for children as much as for adults, and child who grows up knowing how to identify sadness, anger, fear, happiness, and affection in themselves and others, will certainly be stable and reliable friend and partner one day. You will know that you have raised an empathic and emotional child, and be even more proud of them.