How and why to teach emotional intelligence

How To Teach Emotional Intelligence To Children - Kids In The House
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How and why to teach emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is being smart about emotions. So that means being smart about our own emotions, noticing what we're feeling and being able to manage those emotions, and being smart about other people's emotions. Understanding what someone else is feeling and what might motivate them ro behave in a certain way. How we can teach our child emotional intelligence? First, we empathize. When we empathize with our child, they learn empathy. hey learn how to empathize with others so they can read other people's emotions. And we accept the full range of our child's emotions. When we do that, children accept their own full range of emotions and they're better able to manage them and therefore, they can mange their behavior. You can start teaching emotional intelligence with toddlers by naming the feeling. So you can say, "You're so mad!" and your toddler thinks, "Yeah. There's a name for what's swamping me here and Daddy even doesn't seem scared of it. He seems to think that its okay and maybe other people get mad too." And all of a sudden, your toddler gains a whole lot more control over his emotions. And as kids get older, you don't analyze them, which would make them feel put on the spot, but you might just say, "You seem really upset." and help your child to begin to talk about his emotions and children begin to develop a language for it. Once we can talk about feelings, the feelings which are on the non-verbal side of the brain connect to the words on the other side of the brain and we have so much control and therefore, we have control over our behavior.


Expert Bio

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Laura Markham, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and has worked as a parenting coach with countless parents across the English-speaking world, both in person and via phone. You can find Dr. Laura online at, the website of Aha! Moments for parents of kids from birth through the teen years, where you can sign up for her free daily inspiration email.  Dr. Laura lives in New York with her husband and her kids, who are now 17 and 21.

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