Raising kids in today’s culture of social media and technology is no easy feat. While many resources have been established the aid in the ease of daily life, the new digital world does nothing to promote awareness, expression, and control of one’s emotions, or, Emotional Intelligence.
Some indicators that your kiddo may be struggling with Emotional Intelligence include poor control of emotions, becoming easily distressed, trouble maintaining friendships, expressing “silly” emotions regularly, or simply a lack of empathy for others. This may be noticed by friends, teachers, or family members even if you don’t pick up on it yourself (because, hey, parents are busy and distracted too sometimes!)
Next time you have their attention, try one or more of these questions to guide your conversation:
1. What color is your mood today and why do you say so?
2. Where do you feel that in your body?
3. Do you notice your thoughts or feelings change when you are around certain people?
4. When was the last time you made yourself proud?
5. Describe a time when something was really hard for you. How did you feel about it?
6. What does it mean to feel “disappointed”? Why do you think people feel that way sometimes?
7. If you see someone else might be sad, what can you do to help them?
8. What happens if someone doesn’t feel the same way you do about a situation? Is that okay?
9. How might others feel if you were to disagree with them?
10. What are three activities you can do when you want to change how you are feeling?
If any of their answers to these or other questions concern you, pay attention and take action. Consider scheduling your kiddo to speak with a counselor about some of the things they share with you. Counseling can offer one on one intentional attention to these concerns from a skilled professional.
Emotional Intelligence is important because it affects all people across everything we do. From making friends, to success in the academic setting, to being a valuable employee at a job, Emotional Intelligence allows us to successfully interact with people and the world around us. And that is a goal worth working toward.