In addition to being transparent and inclusive when talking about felt emotions, it’s also important to model productive ways to deal with emotions. For example, if you are vocalizing a feeling of frustration, also vocalize how you are planning to deal with this emotion: “I feel frustrated that no one is listening to me right now. Instead of getting angry, I’m going to wait until the room is quiet before doing anything else.” Or, “I’m so happy to see that you completed this homework assignment! I’m going to share my happiness with you by giving you a high five!” Connecting the cause and effect of emotional experiences can help children learn how to process their own emotions.
As you can see, raising an emotionally intelligent child isn’t a “one and done” effort. Rather, teaching, modeling, and encouraging emotional intelligence for kids is an ongoing journey, but these four tips will certainly help you build a strong foundation for the process.