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Emotional Intelligence for Children

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

5 tips on how parents should start the journey to learning about emotional intelligence and conflict resolution

Five years into being a parent, no less than four parents classes/seminars, four parenting books, and unlimited reading of articles from credible parenting magazines, I see the value of it all. Before becoming a mother I honestly did not have an awareness of the term "emotional intelligence". I had no understanding of the components of conflict resolution. I was blessed with a strong-willed child and this brought me to ask myself many hard questions.

Did I want her to be angry or hurt from my response?

How did my response make her feel?

Was I responding out of anger?

What energy was I exposing her to?

How was what I was doing going to allow her to be different and better than me?

What was I teaching her (we teach them by what we do and if we are not careful we teach them inappropriate behaviors)?

Below you will find 5 things you can do in no particular order to get started:

1) Identify if you have areas that you need to work on emotionally. If you struggle with yelling, allowing anger to escalate to physically fighting, insulting, cursing, or not being calm before talking about emotionally charged subjects, YOU WILL NEED TO WORK ON YOURSELF FIRST!

a) A good place to start is with a therapist. You do not need to have a chronic mental illness to speak with one. Therapists can offer you resources and tools to help you learn about conflict resolution and communication.

b)Use social media and follow credentialed and credible licensed professionals (therapists, social workers, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, etc.). Some of the best content I have found began with following a credible professional's account on Instagram or Facebook.

2) Find free credible resources at the library and on the internet that you can apply.

3) Find ways to talk to your children about the areas that you need to improve so that they understand that you were not setting a good example (acting on extreme emotions in physically and emotionally unsafe manners is not "normal").

4) Allow your children to learn with you in age-appropriate ways. When I am frustrated and feel the tension in my body, I tell my children that mommy needs a time out and cannot talk until I have calmed down. It seemed weird to me at first. My five-year-old daughter now asks for quiet time when upset. This shows me that she is watching and listening.

5)Accept that we all have flaws. Starting later in life is better than never. As you learn new skills, you will make mistakes. Forgive yourself and apologize to anyone impacted. Remind yourself that the next conflict is a chance to do better.

Mental health, positive parenting, and conflict resolution resources are listed below:

Positive Psychology

Aha Parenting

Positive Parenting Solutions

Psychology Today: 17 Rule to Guide You Through Any Conflict

Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not to act as medical or legal advice. If you are contemplating hurting yourself or others call 911.

Author: Alita-Geri Carter, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC

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