Helping Children Develop Emotional Intelligence

Living in a world where more and more interactions take place through electronic devices can cause children to lose touch with reality. Without routine face-to-face interactions, developing emotional intelligence can be difficult for young children.

Here are three things that you can do to help your child gain a deeper understanding of his or her emotions.

1. Work with your child to identify his or her emotions.

Emotional intelligence often begins with being able to accurately identify what you are feeling. For children who may have limited experience with a broad range of emotions, communicating what they are feeling can be nearly impossible.

You can encourage your child to develop greater emotional intelligence by working with him or her to identify emotions more accurately. Since your child is probably familiar with the emoticons that are used to communicate electronically, you can use these emoticons to help your child recognize emotions so that you can better discuss and overcome these emotions in the future.

2. Help your child learn to set boundaries.

Being able to successfully set boundaries is an important component of emotional intelligence. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with anger. You need to help you child learn to set healthy boundaries when engaging in arguments.

Teach your child that it is acceptable to walk away from an argument if he or she becomes too heated, and help your child learn to recognize when anger is an appropriate response. These boundaries will help foster greater emotional intelligence as your child grows and develops into an adult.

3. Help your child learn to separate emotions from self.

One of the most difficult things to do is separate an emotion from one's sense of self. Emotionally intelligent individuals have the ability to examine the emotions they are feeling as something independent of their own self.

You should work to teach your child that feeling a sense of failure doesn't mean that he or she is a failure, or that a sense of sadness doesn't have to be a permanent part of his or her personality. By teaching your child to examine his or her feelings as something that they experience rather than something they are, you will be able to give your child the skills needed to deal with emotions in a healthy and productive manner.

Helping your child develop greater emotional intelligence is important. Be sure to work with your child to identify emotions, set boundaries, and examine emotions apart from self to foster a greater sense of emotional intelligence in the future. If you need more advice, talk to a professional that specializes in child psychiatry.