How to Help Your Kid Develop Their Emotional Intelligence

When you’re raising kids, it’s easy to focus on the big things—do they have friends, are they getting on OK at school, are they physically active? However, as well as these important markers of growth and development, you also need to consider your child’s emotional intelligence. This will determine how they manage friendships over time, deal with setbacks, and develop their resilience. Here are three simple ways you can ensure that your child is developing this vital skill.

Talk it Through

If your child comes home from school crossed about something that happened in class or is upset over a friendship issue, don’t dismiss it as ‘kid’s stuff’. For your child, these events can feel like big problems, and they will only learn to gain perspective if you sit down with them and talk it through. Listen carefully to why your child is upset or frustrated, and then try gently explaining how it might be seen from another perspective. Although your child will initially resist this, over time they will develop their ability to see other’s opinions.

Show Don’t Tell

One of the best ways your child will learn about emotional intelligence is by watching you. Although no one is expecting you to be perfect all of the time, if you can make an effort to show empathy, friendship, and kindness to others, your child will pick up on this and learn that these are desirable things to express.

Read Widely

One of the best ways to introduce new ideas to children and show them different people’s experiences is to read a wide range of books. Seek out books that help to teach children about friendship and emotional intelligence, but also make sure you’re purchasing a range of diverse texts from different authors, so your child can express curiosity and empathy for a wide range of people.