How asking questions can build emotional intelligence

Psychotherapist & Author Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, shares advice for parents on the best methods for building up emotional intelligence in your child
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How asking questions can build emotional intelligence

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We've got lots of great opportunities with kids, either riding in the car or sitting at the dinner table, to build their brains and social and emotional intelligence in those moments. One of the great techniques that you can use is that, there are lots of products there that you can buy like dinner games or family dinner questions and these kinds of things which can be fun and make kids look forward to sitting down and talking. But one simple thing that you can always do is ask for your children to give a high point of the day, a low point of the day, and an act of kindness or compassion. And when you do this regularly, your children will even look for moments or ways that they can be kind or compassionate to others because they know they will be asked to share it. An act of kindness of compassion could be to someone else, to an animal, to the Earth, to themselves. And this allows them to look for ways and report kind things that they did thinking about others. Also, when they talk about the good moment of the day and a not so good moment of the day, those are the opportunities you can process with them and talk about how they dealt with that difficult moment and built resilience and worked it out themselves and encourage them to share not only the moments but also kind of these difficult moments and these acts of kindness as well as the great moments.

Psychotherapist & Author Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, shares advice for parents on the best methods for building up emotional intelligence in your child

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Tina Payne Bryson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Author

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, is a psychotherapist at Pediatric and Adolescent Psychology Associates in Arcadia, California, where she sees children and adolescents, as well as provides parenting consultations. She is the school counselor at St. Marks Episcopal School in Altadena, CA, and a Developmental Consultant to Camp Chippewa for Boys. She speaks to parents, educators, and clinicians all across the country. Dr. Bryson earned her PhD from the University of Southern California, where her research explored attachment science, childrearing theory, and the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. Her best-selling book The Whole-Brain Child (co-authored with Dr. Dan Siegel) gives parents practical ways to transform difficult moments into opportunities for children to thrive.  Dr. Bryson has written for a large number of publications, most recently the PBS series “This Emotional Life.”  She lives near Los Angeles with her husband and three children.  

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