Much of our identity is shaped in childhood by key events and the emotions and perspectives we associate with them.
All Emotions Count
Emotional intelligence, sometimes referred to as EQ, is often overlooked as a skill set in today’s world. The recent animated film Inside Out calls attention to effective ways of addressing a child’s journey by embracing and better understanding their emotions; particularly those that don’t feel positive.
A recent study by the London School of Economics Centre for Economic Performance found that a child’s emotional health is far more important in determining future happiness than factors such as academic success or wealth. Parents can help ensure a healthy emotional upbringing by avoiding making three mistakes.
Disapproval of a child’s emotions: This involves being critical of a child’s displays of negative emotion and reprimanding or punishing the child for expressing them.
Dismissing a child’s emotions: This comes across as regarding a child’s emotions as unimportant, either through ignoring their emotions, or worse, trivializing them.
Offering little relevant guidance: While parents may empathize, they don’t set limits on behavior or assist each child in understanding and coping with their emotions.
Recipe for a High EQ
Parents can successfully form deeper connections with their kids by recognizing, respecting and acknowledging their emotional range, rather than telling kids they should feel a certain way. Telling someone how they should or shouldn’t feel only teaches them to distrust themselves and that there’s something wrong with them. As a communication aid, Inside Out may speak best to older children, because younger viewers may get the erroneous impression that emotions can control them, rather than that they can control their own emotional reactions. READ MORE