Summer is upon us and parents are already preparing for eight weeks of kid chaos. Whether you’re going on a vacation, driving to your hometown, or sending the kids off to camp, take some time to teach your child about managing their emotions this summer.
Most parents take their job as teachers very seriously, which is very good. We teach our kids numbers, ABCs, taking turns, healthy financial habits, right from wrong, but sometimes do not notice a more important lesson we’re imparting to our children: how to manage their feelings. A child’s behaviour is highly dependent on his feelings, therefore, if you want a well- behaved child, teach the child how to convert their negative feelings to positives. This is the basis of emotional intelligence (EQ), which will determine their quality of life much more fundamentally than their IQ.
Kids learn how to manage “big feelings” when you:
- Stay calm and kind in the face of their upset.
- Accept their feelings even while we limit their actions.
- Respond to their anger with compassion, so they can show us the tears and fears behind their anger.
- See past the bad behaviour to the overwhelmed, frightened child underneath.
- Listen, instead of sending them away until they can “act right.”
- Respond to their anger or neediness with “How can I help?” instead of getting triggered.
- Help them with their emotions first, and then wait until they’re calm and can actually learn before you talk about appropriate behaviour.
- Regulate your emotions and accept your child’s emotions, the child learns to manage his or her feelings and behaviour earlier than other kids. They’re closer to you through their teen years and beyond. They’re more skilled at calming themselves, and handling stress better, both as kids and as adults.
Love your child unconditionally. This creates higher emotional intelligence for them. That means a child who can manage his/her emotions, and therefore, behaviour grows into a person who walks in love and confidence. An emotional intelligent child also acts with powerful presence, eventually making the world a better place; just by being himself/herself.