Daniel Goldman, in his bestseller book, Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence, contends that emotional intelligence (EQ), more so than IQ, is predictive of your child's success in life. What is emotional intelligence? Essentially, it the ability of an individual to perceive, understand, express, and regulate emotion. Individuals with emotional intelligence demonstrate resilience, self-discipline and effective relationship skills and exhibit the following competencies:
Ability to self-motivate
Persistence in the face of frustration
Impulse control and delaying of gratification
Regulation of mood and ability to keep emotional distress from interfering with ability to think
Ability to empathize and to hope
Children can develop emotional intelligence. As a parent, you can support the development of your children's EQ by helping them become aware of their emotions and those of others, as well as by encouraging behaviors for managing their emotions. John Gottman, in his book Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, explains: "In my research I discovered that love by itself wasn't enough to become a good parent. Very concerned, warm, and involved parents often had attitudes toward their own and their children's emotions that got in the way of being able to talk to their children when they were sad or afraid or angry. While love by itself was not enough, channeling that caring into some basic skills that parents could practice, as if they were coaching their children in the area of emotion, was enough. The secret lay in how parents interacted with their children when emotions ran hot". Gottman identifies "emotion coaching" as comprising the following five elements:
Being aware of a child's emotions
Recognizing emotional expression as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching
Listening empathetically and validating a child's feelings
Labelling emotions in words a child can understand
Helping a child come up with an appropriate way to solve a problem or deal with an upsetting situation
What are the benefits of "emotion-coaching?" Gottman identifies that children that are consistently "emotion-coached" are able to:
regulate their emotional states and self-sooth when upset
reduce their heartrate faster after something upsetting has happened
stay healthier, having fewer infectious illnesses
focus attention and perform better academically
relate better to other people, even in tough situations like getting teased at school
understand people and have better friendships with other children
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