The COVID19 pandemic drastically marked each of our lives in one way or another. It has invited us to change our ways of doing things which in turn has required adjustment and adaptation on our behalf.
Of all the languages on earth the most difficult one to master is that of our emotions and feelings. Emotions are but energy in movement and they live in us and are there to help us learn and grow. Let’s think, if it’s hard for us as adults to navigate and administer our emotions, imagine how valuable it would be to teach our kids from a young age the importance of emotional intelligence.
Here are a few tips that I suggest to foster emotional intelligence in young children and adolescents:
1.- Start with yourself.
The Conscious Discipline model teaches us that our calm as adults feeds our children’s calm, just as our anxiety fuels theirs. That is why is is necessary to work on oneself before we expect the people around us to work on themselves.
2.- Name your own emotions.
Don’t look to hide or mask your emotions. We are all humans regardless of age and we all feel different things. When we learn to identify, name and give our emotions importance we can learn to assume them and manage them correctl
3.- Have conversations where you listen intently.
To understand what your child is saying and feeling it is a must to be present and to teach them how to communicate their desires and frustrations with words.
4.- Spend quality time with your loved ones.
5.- Establish house routines.
Routines can help bring structure to a household and are useful to inform us of what is expected. If we establish clear schedules and activities we can create a rhythm to our days and everyone will know what is expected of them. This helps cultivate a feeling of safety.
6.- Practice activities and hobbies as a family.
7.- Give you kids ways to help around the house.
8.- See and recognize the good things they do.
9.- Be patient.
In conclusion, the pandemic has made us all reflect on the essential aspects of emotional health and wellbeing and the ways and actions we can reinforce to teach them to our kids. Share these tips with your spouse and children so that you can learn as a family.