How to Raise Emotional Intelligence

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What is it and how to raise your emotional Intelligence and your childs? Back in 1995, Time magazine published the October issue with the following question on the cover, “What’s Your EQ?”

So…what is Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and why are we still talking about it all these years later?

EQ or Emotional Intelligence is the seed of all learning. It establishes our ability to interact, how we relate, and our willingness to give and receive love.

Teaching ourselves and our children Emotional Intelligence has immense benefits, and perhaps it is why so many studies have shown Emotional Intelligence to be a more accurate determination of future success than I.Q. 

I talk a lot about the “paradigms” we raise our children in. A paradigm is like a lens or a point of view through which we see the world. The two I speak about are Dominant Parenting or Connection Parenting.

What’s interesting is that these two paradigms is that they can MASSIVELY affect your child’s Emotional Intelligence.

But how?

The Dominant Paradigm encourages your child to use EXTERNAL motivators to guide his or her actions. Keep the parent happy and life is good. This fosters a need to please, a tendency to look for approval in others. Making decisions to avoid the pain of the loss of love.

The Connection Paradigm encourages your child to use INTERNAL motivation. It encourages the child to be guided by their own sense of right and wrong, by their own unique abilities, and to know their value and worth in the world.

They hold themselves to their highest potential because they model YOU holding them to their highest potential!

The greatest tool you can give your child is to nurture them in developing high Emotionally Intelligence! 

Herein lies the problem…

Many of us were not raised in the Connection Paradigm, but in the Dominant paradigm. And if you were raised in a connection paradigm often the pressures of life can throw us swirling back into the dominant and control patterns.

It can be a rollercoaster ride. But the best part is that you can learn how to parent in a different way that fosters emotional intelligence.

And here’s how to Raise Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence by FIRST becoming away and raising your own.

Daniel Goleman talks about 4 components to Raising Emotional Intelligence.

And it starts with us, as parents, because ultimately our children model our behavior.

  1. Self-awareness: Your ability to recognize your own emotions, feeling
    sure about your own worth and abilities
  2. Self-management: Your ability to manage stress, stay honest, take responsibility for your performance & behavior, handle change, be open to new ideas
  3. Social awareness: Your ability to recognize how people feel, anticipate other’s needs, work with many different types of people, understand why others act in certain ways
  4. Relationship management: Your ability to communicate clearly, influence & lead others, cause positive change, manage conflicts, build bonds with others by cooperating, create a group identity

The good news is that raising Emotional Intelligence is much easier than you think! It starts with awareness. And I hope you’re starting to gain some insight from this article.

Over at the Gottman Institution, they share a great article about the 3 Do’s and Don’ts for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Kids. In the article, you’ll learn how to help children manage their emotions, handle frustration and problem solve.

Are you still interested in Connection parenting? Besides helping to raise your child’s Emotional Intelligence it will also…

·  Create a deeper connection between you and your child
·  Shift conflict into the teamwork
·  Develop and establish trust
·  Give your child the greatest tool in life, Emotional Intelligence
·  Move you away from fear and control tactics
·  Shift conflict into the teamwork
·  Start the next generation off with a foundation model of connection

All of which will create a long term healthy relationship!

How does it work? When will I know if I’m ri

Last Saturday I spent the day with a 6-year old while my son went to a sleepover and my husband was out of town. We went to a festival in the city and then came home for an evening together which included sushi, painting fingernails, popcorn, and a short TV show.

Now, I’m NOT a big TV person. It’s just not my thing however since I didn’t pick up a movie I decided we could watch one show. We scroll through Netflix and finally agree on a cooking show. It was one of the shows where they find the WORSE COOKS in America. In this particular show, each contestant gets put on a team with a judge who shows them how to make a dish and then they have to recreate it.

Sounds simple, right?

It’s a reality show so I have no idea what’s actually real but I do know that the two judges were drastically different. I’m sure it was all scripted but what was interesting was how the women judge used shame and humiliation to “motivate” her team while the male judge used light and almost encouraging words in a tactful way to motivate his team. I was curious about what my daughter was thinking.

Then the moment came when my daughter turned to me and said,

Mom, that woman on the tv has no empathy for her team.”

What? What did you just say??

Me: “Wow, you’re right. Good call. She’s not encouraging, huh? You don’t even have to sign up to be coached by people who treat you like that. You know that right?”

Daughter: “yeah, I know that mom. She’s pretty rude. You can’t learn when you are being yelled at.”

Me: “Wow. You’re right.”

Daughter: “I wonder what team will win.”

Me: “Which one do you think?

Daughter: “The other team.”

This kindergartner gets it.

How to Raise Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence

1.) Learn the Language of Feelings & Needs
As parents, we are often so busy, but if you want to raise your child’s emotional intelligence you have to start by understanding your own feelings & needs from your child’s. Your feelings are not your child’s. Your child’s feelings are not yours.

Listen. Communicate. Get curious. Ask Questions?

“Are you feeling angry with me?” “Do you need some time alone?”
“Are you feeling overwhelmed right now?” “Could you use a break?”
“Are you feeling frustrated?” “Could you be needing…”

2.) Talk about the things you see in the world.
So often we miss teachable moments. Was the waiter rude? Did the barista smile and acknowledge you? Did the cashier thank you with sincerity? You don’t have to talk about the experiences at the moment but be aware. Teach your kids to be aware. These experiences are actually the best teachers on the planet. I personally have had more teachable moments with my kids because we created a space for open dialogue, communication, and the willingness to talk about some of the hard stuff.

3.) Learn and teach the difference between Empathy & Sympathy.
Heck, I didn’t know this until I was well into motherhood. Big big difference. Once you figure this piece out, you then need to put it into practice – I choose Brene Browns model when explaining this. And if you want an even deeper dive into Empathy, I recommend Jeremy Rifkin discussion on Emphatic Response. For me, it was key to understanding why feelings and needs matter. Note: video is long.

If you think someone else can benefit from this information, please share using hashtag #parentingshift

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