Becoming and being a parent is challenging. Our well-organized lives are messed up when our children were born. Expectations smashed, self-paced days gone. Our houses are full of noise and mess. We’re living in the mix of embracing the beauty of having our children around and managing the unwanted chaos they brought.
Not just the chaos of piled-up laundry, dishes, and toys everywhere. The jumble of emotions, raw, intense, unpredictable, unmanaged, in our children and ourselves.
By the time, we may begin to realize that we were not really prepared for the emotional intensity that childhood and parenthood are coming with, on our children’s side and our own.
Secretly we start to admit that we lack a certain amount of skills to manage our emotions in stressful situations. In our own struggles we’re not the help for our children to manage theirs.
Why do we struggle with emotions?
Many of us grew up believing that we need to be happy, loving, and confident all day long. That emotions like anger, sadness, fear, disgust, loneliness, melancholy, or annoyance are bad, unimportant, silly, or not worth dwelling on them. We were teased, threaten, or punish as a child for displaying negative emotions—or ignored.
Now, as a parent, we get all these emotions straight into our face, and all we want to do with them is to make them go away. We try to yell them away, we try to punish them away, ignored them, call them silly. Precisely what we learned to do with them.
But they don’t disappear. They bottling up in ourselves and stay hardly managed in our children. They bring us to the edge of an explosion. We are unhappy, angry, sad, and don’t really know what to do with our feelings.
When we are true to ourselves, we may admit that the strategies we learned had hurt us and still do. They didn’t make these feelings go away, they are still there, unmanaged and they hurt. However, now we fall into the same pattern with our children because we don’t know what to do else. It is what we learned.
But what could we do instead?
Let me introduce you to the concept of emotional intelligence and why it is the light of the end of the tunnel.
What is emotional intelligence?
Over the last decade, the idea of emotional intelligence, or EQ, has become more popular throughout the world. Unfortunately, not many people understand what EQ is really about or why it has become so popular.
Emotional intelligence has to be shown as one of the key components to living a happy, healthy, resilient, and well-adjusted life.
Everyone is confronted by not only their own emotions but the emotions of everyone around them. When you are emotionally intelligent, you are better able to recognize your own emotional state and the emotional state of others. When you have a clear understanding of the emotional states around you, it can help you better relate with others, achieve greater success, and form healthier relationships.
Thanks to this skill, emotionally smart people are self-confident, self-aware, creative, and energetic. They are also much more capable of handling stress and optimistically approaching their lives and don’t fear change.
How to instill EQ in your children?
Emotional intelligence is an essential skill for our children. Still, they won’t gain it just only through their experiences or simply by time. They’ll build their EQ, in part, through OUR emotional response to their feelings.
The first step to foster EQ in our children is to emphasize and help to label their emotions. From there, a child can build an understanding of their feelings and strengthen their ability to regulate them.
Studies have found that children who grow up with parents who use emotional coaching have a calmer central nervous system, a lower resting heart rate, healthier emotional brain circuitry, and better coping skills. These are the kids who stay calm under pressure.
To become your kids emotional coach you need to understand the required emotional intelligence aspects in yourself first.
The 4 aspects of EQ you need to be your kids emotional coach
Self-regulation involves your ability to control or redirect your challenging emotions. It helps you adapt to changing circumstances and keep yourself moving in the right direction. Being calm is contagious.
As a parent, you can’t afford to panic when things get a bit too stressful. When you can learn to stay grounded in stressful situations, you can think and communicate more clearly and guide your kids out of their struggles
#2 Empathy and Compassion
Empathy is your ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes so you can understand how they feel and react appropriately to the situation. When you have empathy, your capacity to feel compassion is much higher. The emotions that you feel in response to suffering is what motivates a desire in you to help. The more you can relate to those around you, the better you’ll come to understand what motivates and upsets them.
#3 Relationship Management
If you’re always distracted, you are not able to make deep connections with your children. Everyone has obligations and a crazy to-do list, but maintaining deep connections is essential to your ability to boost your emotional intelligence. Being present with your children, and being attuned to your children requires your mind and attention to focus on them.
#4 Effective Communication
Effective communication is of the utmost importance when connecting with your children and get yourself heard. Misunderstandings and lack of communication are usually the basis of problems between people. Failing to communicate effectively leads to frustration, confusion, and bitterness. When you are competent at communicating, you can eliminate obstacles and build deeper relationships.
Emotional intelligence is a powerful tool that is critical if you want to improve your relationship with your children, manage stress, and create a healthy and cooperative atmosphere at home. With practice, using these tools becomes more naturally and you’ll begin to see you and your child get better at expressing emotions in a constructive way.