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21/12/2017 09:36 SAST | Updated 21/12/2017 09:36 SAST

Practical Ways To Enhance Kids' Emotional Intelligence

Children who master emotional intelligence skills enjoy more fulfilling relationships, and parents can help them achieve that mastery practically.

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Emotional Intelligence is like freshly squeezed orange juice. When you squeeze an orange, you expect orange juice to flow out of it. You wouldn't expect to find grape or peach juice inside an orange, because an orange only has orange juice to give.

Human behavioural choices are based on what we have inside to give -- much like that orange. What we have inside is based on how we feel about ourselves as a person. And how we feel about ourselves as a person influences every choice we make.

Every choice that we make defines the path of our lives. All negative behaviours are based on fear, low self-esteem, self-defeating and destructive self-talk, and low self-value. Consider, for a moment, how nobody who values and respects themselves would want to hurt another.

The very act of self-value and self-respect ensures that they will give that out to others. This is the reason why it is so important to teach and enhance emotional intelligence skills in our children.

Emotional intelligence is self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills all packed into one. Children who master emotional intelligence skills become better leaders, study more effectively, enjoy more fulfilling relationships with others, are better able to retain information, have better concentration skills and live happier, more fulfilled lives.

In fact, schools that teach emotional intelligence skills even have fewer bullying incidents, and learning for all is more exciting, creative and effective.

Mastering EQ skills is essential to living a better life. And who does not want that?

Here are a few tips on how to enhance a child's emotional intelligence skills:

  1. Communication is key. We need to talk to our children about their emotions and listen sincerely to their answers... without judgment. This will help them become more aware of how they are feeling and, with your encouragement, they will find more positive solutions to any number of challenges. Use phrases such as: "How was your day?"; "What was the best/worst thing that happened today?"; "How did that make you feel?"; "I hear you..." and "I can understand how that must have upset you..."
  2. Teach your children to take responsibility for the choices they have made. Blaming others has no value. We all make mistakes... own them and learn from them. Help your children understand that every choice has a consequence. We are free to make any choice that we want. The consequences, however, will be there no matter what.
  3. Teach your children to value who they are, so that they will value others around them.
  4. Children do what we do, and not what we say. It is vital for you to walk your talk.

Mastering EQ skills is essential to living a better life. And who does not want that?