How many times have you felt frustrated with your child’s behavior and simply exploded in anger, saying things that you regretted later? How many times have you asked yourself if you were in the right track raising your child?
I always ask my client’s parents what they want for their children as they journey into adulthood. It is very clear to me that they all want the same thing: a reliable, responsible and happy adult. Someone who is accomplished, emotionally balanced, socially and emotionally intelligent. They all want their children to be self-confident, have good opportunities in life and make a difference in this world. They want their children to be SUCCESSFUL and HAPPY.
When we have these kinds of objectives in mind for our children, it is very important to focus on what we are doing now to help them to get there. What are you teaching your children? As parents, it’s your job to model good behavior, as children usually take after their parents in the way they deal with problems and emotions. If you become aggressive and yell when you are angry, your children will probably do the same thing simply because it’s what they learned.
Parents who are emotionally intelligent will be able to teach their children to be emotionally intelligent as well. Learning how to manage stress and anger is our first step to the direction of emotional and social intelligence.
Here are 5 steps to start teaching emotional and social intelligence to your children.
1) Managing stress - learn how to reenergize after a stressful day of work. Make sure that you are taking care of yourself and your health. Eating a healthy diet will keep your body balanced, helping you avoid mood swings and irritability. Going for a walk, going to the gym, or even meeting a friend for a dinner once a week is a way for you to get out of the routine and release stress. You can also get a massage, attend a Yoga class, meditate or learn relaxation techniques.
2) Compassionate communication opens a new realm for connection. It is when you are willing to open your heart to reach out to the other person. When you learn how to open our own heart to communicate with others, you get our point across more effectively, without making the other person feel threatened.
3) Be aware of things that trigger uncomfortable and unmanageable feelings. Learning the signs that lead us to feel abandoned, uncared, unloved, disrespected, etc, is a very important step to decrease emotional reactivity and improve assertive communication. The more you pay attention to these cues through your body sensations and thoughts, the more you will be able to manage them. This is especially important in the way you communicate with your children, as it shows them you are in control of your emotions, not the other way around.
4) Be human. Admitting that you make mistakes shows your children that you are human beings and you will be susceptible to making mistakes. Mistakes are irreparable when we are not willing to admit them and do something about it. Owning up to your mistakes will also help the other person foster a greater sense of respect for you, especially your children.
5) Play. The best way to reach children is through play. You can’t expect to get your point across if the only way you try to communicate is by sitting them down for a serious conversation . It doesn’t work that way. Through play you can teach them whatever you want and they will learn how to be a SUCCESSFUL and HAPPY being.