Emotional Quotient (EQ) or Emotional Intelligence is a person’s ability to perceive and understand emotion, whether it be others’ or their own. It is one of the many types of intelligence that everyone has including students who may or may not attend an international school in Manila.
Nurturing EQ starts at home. It’s important that it is given priority because many experts and educators believe that it greatly impacts the future success of your children in relationships, work, health, and life in general. Some even claim that it’s a greater predictor of success than IQ; but objectively speaking, both are of equal importance.
In this article, however, we’re going to focus on EQ and share ways of how you can help nurture it.
EQ starts with recognizing and internalizing one’s own emotions – something that children are rarely able to do. When they start to feel something, they simply let it run through their body and act immediately. A few even don’t have words for it which is understandable given their limited experience.
One thing you can do is introduce your child to words by labeling the emotions as he is feeling it. For example, after he lost a game, approach him and say, “You look a little disappointed today. Is that right?” If, on the other hand, he just heard good news, say, “That made you really happy, didn’t it?”
These simple and subtle questions help your child build a vocabulary that he can use to express himself the next time he feels the same. This not only increases his EQ but also allows for better parent-child communication.
Empathy is a huge aspect of emotional intelligence. It is something that you can easily teach your children by expressing it yourself. Whenever they are angry or upset, don’t dismiss their emotions and tell them that the way they’re feeling is wrong.
Instead, validate their feelings, empathize with them, and understand them as best as you can. Listen to them as they walk you through the events that transpired that may have led to them feeling certain emotions. You can even reverberate their words to show that you are really dedicated to understanding them.
Once they know that they’re going to be heard, they are going to be more likely to express their emotions through words and not through actions such as tantrums and random outbursts.
After your children have gained the ability to identify and understand their own emotions, the next thing they have to learn is how to deal with them in a healthy way. They need to be able to calm themselves when they’re angry, cheer themselves up when they’re down, and face other complex emotions.
You can do this by teaching them simple and effective coping habits such as taking three deep breaths when they’re angry or nervous. You can also show them appropriate and less destructive ways to express their feelings such as writing them down in a personal journal.
These are the lessons your children will carry as they grow up.
Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient (EQ) boils down to understanding your own emotions and empathizing with others. Whether your children are students in an international school in Manila or otherwise, they can learn these things with the advice we’ve listed above.
A good thing to remember with EQ is that it can be nurtured at home by having parents introduce and guide their children to the complex world of emotions – may it be their own or that of others!