How to cultivate emotional intelligence in children


Emotional intelligence refers to an individual’s capability to recognise his/her own or other person’s emotions and also to manage and adjust emotions to adapt to different environments. This also includes how a person evaluates, expresses and controls emotions. Since emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success, so an emotionally intelligent person can easily handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

Emotional intelligence is a vital part of our lives. Parents, thus, have a great responsibility on their shoulders to make their children emotionally intelligent for the future. Gone are the days when children used to live in joint families and learnt a lot without much attention from their parents. Now, they live in nuclear families with mostly working parents. So, taking good care of the children becomes all the more important for parents.

I give below some ways for parents to help make their children emotionally smart and intelligent.

  • Regulate Your Own Emotions – Parents should be role models while dealing with their emotions because children learn a lot through observation. Parents’ positive behaviour helps the children to regulate their emotions and adopt the right way to deal with their emotional disorders.
  • Be A Patient Listener – All the children want to be heard carefully irrespective of their age. When children don’t get a chance to express themselves, the emotions get bottled up inside and, then, children have temper tantrums. Parents need to be all ears whenever they find their children ready to share something. Children get a chance to vent their feelings when they find their parents completely attentive and listening.
  • Be Observant – Apart from being patient, parents should be vigilant to any behavioural change in their children. In case of a behavioural change, either the child is not willing to express or is unable to explain the challenge that he/she is facing. Here, brain storming can be a useful tool to see how their children behave in a difficult situation, to find an opening to solve their problem. It would boost their confidence level.
  • Have An Empathetic Heart – At times, even empathising with the children is an effective solution when the situation is not very grave. This helps to relax and soothes their nerves when they are struggling. Gradually, children develop this emotion of empathy as they receive it from others. Children, thus, find ways to pacify themselves or even others in times of need.
  • Be Appreciative To Initiative – At times, children themselves come up with some possible solutions to a problem. Parents should encourage such behaviour. Eventually, attempting to face a situation in their own ways will make them confident and prepares them for future.
  • Avoid Suppression – Children may develop emotions which lead to fear or apprehension. Parents should, by no means, suppress such emotions or feelings tagging them as either unacceptable or shameful. Freedom of expression and parents’ acceptance give them the confidence to accept themselves as they are. Let your children understand that all of us come in packages of strengths and weaknesses.

Spending quality time with your children in the above mentioned ways, will bring about emotional stability in them and help develop emotional intelligence.

Meenal Arora is the Executive Director of Shemrock Preschools & the Founder Director of Shemford Futuristic Schools, which is the K-12 School Chain of Shemrock. Mrs. Meenal Arora is a thoroughbred education researcher and a committed educational professional, who works with a passion for quality & innovation. Under her dynamic leadership, the Group has established 375+ Shemrock Preschools & Shemford Senior School branches located in India and Nepal. Mrs. Meenal Arora is also a well-known author who has co-authored several preschool books, papers and articles.