Before you can get started on finding ways to improve your child’s emotional intelligence, you need to understand what emotional intelligence is. Emotional intelligence is your ability to identify, control and express emotions. This means that having difficulties with any of these three can negatively impact your everyday life, increasing the likelihood of miscommunications creating problems for you or your child. There are many ways for children, both young and old, to improve their emotional intelligence for a better future. Here are five such ways:
Playing the “What-if” Game
Whether you’re going for a short car ride or having dinner, you can play this game with your child to help improve their emotional intelligence. All you need to do is ask them, “what would you do if…?” in order to work on their responses to different emotional situations. Playing this game with your child will encourage them to behave as well as get them thinking about different ways to appropriately respond to certain feelings. This is a technique that can easily be modified for younger and older children, so get started as early as possible!
Utilize Toys With Emotional-Elements
Playing with toys that are designed to teach children how to express their feelings in a playful yet safe manner is exactly what you need to boost your child’s emotional intelligence. Using toys that demonstrate a variety of emotions, whether it’s the basics of happy and sad or a wide variety, will help your child learn to deal with difficult emotions, both internally and with other people.
Read Books About Feelings
In order to understand emotions, you child needs to learn how to correctly identify them. With different emotions come different ways of expressing them, which is essential when trying to label various feelings. To help with that, encouraging your child to read books is a great way for them to understand the range of emotions one can experience. Look for books that address the expression of feelings head-on to best boost emotional intelligence.
Watch TV Shows and Movies
In the same way that books can help children improve their emotional intelligence, watching television shows and movies can do wonders in visually demonstrating them. It provides a great opportunity for kids to talk about the emotions they’re seeing and question any behaviour they don’t understand. Having a visual representation of an emotion like anger, sadness or confusion from multiple people will help in building their vocabulary of common behaviour that’s associated with those emotions.
Improve Social Skills Through Playing
A great way to boost your child’s emotional intelligence is to encourage them to play with other children. Improving their social skills is important, as it will help in dealing with difficult issues such as bullying. Providing as many opportunities as possible for imaginative or cooperative play with other kids, whether it’s through building a fort or playing make-believe, will help them to communicate and resolve conflicts in a healthy manner.
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