In this video, we’re gonna guide you through steps to help your child understand their emotions and the emotions of others. You’re probably aware of the term ‘Emotional Intelligence’. Emotional intelligence is like the oxygen mask on an airplane. You better make sure yours is functioning first before you can help your child.
The first thing you need to do is teach them that there are different emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust. Show them pictures of what these look like. What they sound like. Do your own facial expressions if you need to? Have them recognize these emotions within themselves. Ask them when do they feel this way? When have they felt this way in the past?
You then have to talk about your own feelings. Dads often avoid showing emotion thinking we are protecting our children. I got news for you…that’s not the way to help them. Allow them to express their emotions. A lot of boys are taught not to show their emotions. Somehow emotions became a negative thing.
Another example is young kids get scared a lot. Have some empathy. Say, “yeah, I can see how that would be scary.” Empathy is so crucial for your relationship with your child, let alone teaching them emotional intelligence. Then teach them how to problem solve. Not every emotion requires problem solving. Sometimes just letting it out is enough. However, if a problem needs to be solved, teach them how to approach it. For example “You are really angry that your sister took your toy. I can see how that would make you mad. What do you think we could do to solve this?”
Finally, teach them that emotions are not “good” or “bad, they just are. Emotions shouldn’t have judgement, praise, or criticism.