The words YOU use influence the development of your child's EQ
Research studies have established over and over again that emotional intelligence (emotional quotient or EQ) has more bearing on success than a person's intelligence quotient (IQ).
Parenting expert Nikki Bush points out that EQ is also something you can keep raising throughout your life.
She explores why it is important for children to develop this vital ability to understand, use, and manage their emotions in positive ways and how parents can help them do this.
Somebody else can't make you feel something and that's a key differentiator between being reactive and being proactive, between being emotionally and socially mature and being emotionally and socially immature.Nikki Bush, Parenting expert
We have to be able to work with others and the key to emotional intelligence is: If I know myself and I can manage myself then I can know and manage you.Nikki Bush, Parenting expert
She says parents can find teachable moments when watching television with their kids, pointing out an emotionally immature approach by a character onscreen for instance and discussing an alternative.
Bush also talks about the importance of expanding a child's emotional vocabulary, to help them better express how they are feeling.
A helpful resource is simply to search for emotion wheel or feelings wheel on the internet.
What they'll see is that we go beyond sad, mad, glad and being scared. There are literally hundreds of different feeling words. For example under fearful - which is a key emotion - you might have rejected, and for rejected there are two other words - excluded or persecuted... You could have I'm feeling inadequate, or I'm feeling inferior.Nikki Bush, Parenting expert
Building our children's emotional vocabulary, getting them to be more specific about how they feel is very much part of building EQ.Nikki Bush, Parenting expert
Adults also need to realise that the words they use are a shaping force in the development of their kids' EQ.
Your children must see how you express yourself and get your emotions under control and how you moderate your reactions to situations...'Before you react, count to ten'... The 8-8-8 breathing method is also quite nice... If you're feeling really reactive, just breathe!Nikki Bush, Parenting expert
It's also important for parents to label their own feelings, she says.
This is the way children will learn to label their own feelings... Right now during Covid and various stages of lockdown, children are observing us in our working situation and they are hearing conversations. If they happen to have heard a heated conversation you need to be able to unpack that for them possibly, afterwards.Nikki Bush, Parenting expert
Listen to the enlightening conversation below:
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