As parents, most of us wish that our children will grow up to be smart, responsible and loving individuals. So, we always find ways to boost their intelligence quotient or IQ. This we do by providing them educational toys and books and sending them to the best school to develop their mental skills and abilities. However, apart from intelligence, it is of utmost importance also that we help build their emotional intelligence or what we now term “EQ.” The home, as in the case of developing IQ, is also where we should help build this EQ. Developing children’s emotional quotient means creating an environment that will encourage them to recognize their feelings, express them and learn the right ways to deal with them. Studies have proven that while 20% of life’s success is dependent on a person’s intelligence, the rest is determined by self-motivation, persistence, self-control and delaying gratification.
When kids are outraged
One major and common emotional problem that needs to be addressed is when kids throw their tantrums. This usually starts during the toddler years and may go on until grade school if trantrums are not controlled. But there are easy ways to deal with this predicament so long as parents also stretch their patience. Parents must first understand their own feelings so they in turn will be able to relate to the emotions of their children. So for instance, if your child is throwing a tantrum, identify first your own feeling before flaring up. Ask yourself if you feel embarrassed about his behavior and what other people will say because you believe your kid is not capable of misbehaving. Be patient and then find out the reason behind the tantrum by asking the child. Was he frustrated over a toy or uncomfortable with his clothes or shoes? Help him learn that problems can be solved and that he need not fret about it.
Next step is to keep your cool while calming down your kid. Always be firm about what you say when taking control of the situation. As much as possible, divert your child’s attention and show him the more acceptable behavior. Remove from him any disruptive object that he’s holding. Later on, you may show him the proper way of using that object that gave him much frustration.
Helping your kid describe his feelings will also enable him to accept that having ill and uncomfortable emotions is normal in life. If a child can label his feelings, he will learn to pacify himself and recover from a frustrating situation. Go on, ask you kid if he’s hungry or sleepy or perhaps, he wants to play. A toddler can already understand this and will most likely agree to any solution offered to him especially if it’s what he has in mind. “Are you sleepy? C’mon, let’s take a nap together.” “Are you thirsty? Let’s go get a glass of milk, you like that don’t you?” Now that you have taught your kid to label his feelings, guide him then in solving problems in certain situations.
Children need to know that their misbehavior is the problem and not their feelings. Let them understand that they have a right to feel bad but they need to be guided in finding ways to express their emotions. Experts say brainstorming is one great way to help your kid deal with his feelings. Sit down and talk to him about the problem. Take for instance, your three-year-old and her playmate fought over a doll and your daughter hit the other girl. To solve the problem, ask your child what happened. Usually, in all innocence, kids will really tell their mom what happened. So you might tell your kid “I know that you’re angry that Amy took your doll. I would feel the same. But it’s not good that you hit her. What can you do instead?” Okay, it’s indeed frustrating when you see your kid throw a tantrum whether at home or in a restaurant. But then again, it’s how parents handle the situation and how they teach their kids that will solve the problem. Patience is always the key.
Tom Takihi is the owner of the Discover Parenting portal. To gain more information, please visit http://www.discoverparenting.info