What is emotional intelligence (EQ)? Is emotional intelligence something that can be developed later, which factors are effective? How to support the development of emotional intelligence in children? Let’s get started!
What is emotional intelligence (EQ)?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to understand and recognize both one’s own and the other’s feelings and to use and manage them appropriately by making sense of them.
Emotional intelligence, which starts at birth, is a phenomenon that progresses with the richness of the environment and stimuli. It can develop with the attitudes of the parents and the learning capacity of the child.
What are the factors that make up emotional intelligence in children?
It represents how well your child recognizes his own feelings and trusts his feelings. A self-aware child becomes aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses.
Rather, it refers to the control of impulses. It enables the child to control his/her reaction to events and behaviors by distinguishing his/her emotions from each other.
It helps to recognize and understand the feelings of other children and to see their needs. It enables the child to create a common feeling by putting himself in the shoes of others and to make an objective comment.
It represents the child’s beliefs about himself and his life, and his beliefs about his goals. Thanks to the ability to manage his emotions, it enables him to gain some gains.
How is emotional intelligence measured?
Emotional intelligence cannot be measured with paper-and-pencil tests such as IQ tests. It is an area that lags behind both in scientific research and in terms of IQ, as it cannot be measured statistically and a test method cannot be developed. Therefore, it is not possible to test the child and determine the EQ score range.
Today, although it is not possible to talk about a valid application that has been created and standardized for emotional intelligence testing, there are some methods used. By showing emotion identification expressions and various faces, it can be analyzed whether children can recognize emotions or not.
It is not necessary to have a numerical value for the EQ test. This is something that can be understood by observing. For this, it is important that your child is followed closely by both you and the teachers in the preschool period and kindergarten. If there is a problem in their behavior and friendships, getting expert support early can help in terms of emotional intelligence development.
What are the causes of emotional intelligence deficiency?
Emotional intelligence is a phenomenon whose foundations are laid in childhood, so the first 4-5 years are very important. Especially by the age of 2, children begin to learn emotions such as fear, sadness, anger, happiness, jealousy, shame, love and guilt. Emotional learning is also at its peak, as this is a period where everything is learned very quickly.
- Can you meet your child’s needs?
- Has a positive and secure relationship been established between you?
- Do you give your child a voice? Answering such questions is very important.
Especially when a new sibling comes to him, parents may make the mistake of rejecting the feelings of the older child. “You love your sister too.” You should not prevent your child from expressing his feelings with such statements. These types of things can lead to a lack of emotional intelligence. As much as possible, you should let your child know that you understand him and help him convey his feelings.
How to develop emotional intelligence in children?
There is no specific age limit for the development of emotional intelligence, but childhood is a favorable period for it. If a problem such as a lack of emotional intelligence is encountered in adulthood, it may be necessary to seek expert support.
We said that parents have a very important place in emotional intelligence education, but what can you do about it? Here are some ways to develop emotional intelligence that you can apply:
- In order for children to develop self-awareness and develop their empathy skills, this needs to be learned by experiencing and seeing. Therefore, the communication you establish with your child at this point is very important. Understanding her feelings, responding to her feelings, and helping her gain the ability to solve a problem together helps her emotional intelligence develop.
- Chat with him about feelings so that he gets to know his own feelings intimately. In stressful situations, reflect your feelings so that the ability to empathize will develop.
- Reflect your feelings on your actions. For example, “Wear your coat” when you go out together. Instead of saying, “I’ll be sorry if you get sick when it’s cold, so put your coat on before you go out.” you can say. By making your feelings clear, you help your child understand you better.
- Go to the cinema together, watch movies at home. Practice recognizing emotions from the facial expressions of the people you see here. For example, it is like saying that someone with wide eyes is confused and someone with a scowl is angry.
- Tell him about your ways of dealing with anger and being able to control his impulses. Teach her that you can talk about problems in a healthier way after you have calmed down. Taking a break, counting down from 10 with deep breathing and encouraging positive thinking can be a good step.
- You can adopt a pet to teach compassion and develop empathy skills. If you don’t like this idea, at least grow a plant together.
- While chatting, make sure to make eye contact with your child and listen without interrupting. Set an example in effective listening skills.
- Play games for preschool emotional intelligence activities during the day. It also allows you to spend quality time together.
- Another factor that has an important place in the development of emotional intelligence in children is the preschool period. Closely monitor whether your little one develops harmonious behaviors with other children there by getting the support of their teachers in the first social environment they enter.
- If he shares the problems he has in his friendships with you, instead of producing direct solutions, first of all listen to your child and try to understand. Then ask him how the problem can be solved, discuss these suggestions together.
- Boundaries teach children that what they want may not happen right away and to cope with feelings of frustration. So, don’t be afraid to set limits on your child on certain issues. This makes him feel safe.
- Explain to your child that it is not the end of the world to argue with friends, fail some classes, and be excluded from time to time. Encourage them to see such situations as an opportunity to learn how to deal with negative emotions and find solutions to them.