Emotional intelligence is an individual’s ability to identify and understand emotions in themselves and others; enabling them to respond with empathy. Emotional intelligence also helps us to deal with frustration and support us to think when we experience distress.
When we develop emotional intelligence, it supports us in many ways. For example, experiencing lower levels of stress, helping us to be calmer, enabling us to have better quality relationships and friendships, including managing peer pressure. Emotional intelligence can generally improve your resilience.
Parents often wonder what it is they can do to support their children to develop emotional intelligence. Good role modelling of managing emotions can be a good first step in supporting this development. When children observe how others manage their emotions it can help lay a template for how they can manage their own emotions. A style of parenting called Emotion Coaching (John Gottman), can also support emotional intelligence development.
This style of parenting takes the perspective that all emotions are okay, but not all behaviours are. It asks parents to look behind the behaviour and support the child’s emotions first. This allows the child to experience their emotions being supported, understood and respected. Additionally, for parents it’s seeing their child’s emotion as an opportunity to connect with and teach their child.
For further information on the 5 steps of emotion coaching please visit: www.gottman.com/blog/an-introduction-to-emotion-coaching/
The Northern Centre can support parents to learn these skills through one of our parenting programs and our personal Family Support service call 9334 0111.