This month, we’re looking at what it takes to develop Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in children
The concept of emotional intelligence was coined by Daniel Goldman in 1995 when he described people who are emotionally intelligent as being proficient in 5 skills that serve as the proverbial pillars of EQ.
Pillar 1: Self-awareness
It’s important to be able to answer the question: “How do I feel about this?” For example, when a child is not invited to a close friend’s birthday party, self-awareness helps them to recognise that they feel sad and hurt.
Pillar 2: Managing your emotions
This is when we stop and ask ourselves: “Given that this is how I feel, how do I choose to react?” To expand on the first example, the child now needs to decide how to respond by weighing up different options and the possible outcome of each one, for example, “My options are to get mad, ignore the incident or confront my friend. This is what will most likely happen in each case …”
Pillar 3: Motivating oneself regardless of circumstance
Children need to learn to navigate their emotions when they experience failure or setbacks. This is necessary so that they can keep going and continue to strive towards attaining goals that are important to them, regardless of how they feel. In our example, the child would for instance, decide to talk to their friend about their feelings even though they feel uncomfortable.
Pillar 4: Recognising emotional states in other people
In the example above, if the friend reacts defensively, the child may remain calm because they recognise that the friend is feeling embarrassed. Or, if the friend feels bad and apologises, the child may accept the apology while thinking or saying: “I know how you’re feeling.”
Pillar 5: Relationships and managing other people’s emotions
Now that the child has spoken to the friend and the friend has responded, the child should be able to decide what to make of the incident. This involves looking at what happened objectively – from the outside in – and thinking something along the lines of: “The best thing for me to do now, would be to: continue to be friends; no longer be friends with this person; stay friends, but lower my expectations.”
This may sound complicated, but it’s really all about learning to identify and manage emotions in oneself and other people, as well as being able to motivate oneself to keep going when the going gets tough.
One of our goals as parents is to unlock self-confidence in our children. This will help them make the most of the amazing opportunities that life offers. They need to be prepared and ready to embrace these opportunities with self-awareness, resilience and empathy.
NESTLÉ® NANKID® 4 is a premium drink for growing children from 3–5 years.
Supporting you as you “support your child’s every possible” in different ways
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IMPORTANT NOTICE: NESTLÉ® NANKID® 4 is not a breastmilk substitute. As babies grow at different rates, and is formulated to meet the changing nutrition needs of healthy children older than 3 years.