Prepare ahead for difficult tasks together.
You can use all your child’s feelings, negative as well as positive, to teach him/her how to deal constructively with his/ her emotions. If your 3-year-old is afraid of a visit to the dentist, talk with him/her about it and try to calm his/her fears a few hours before, rather than waiting to see if s/he throws a tantrum in the dentist’s office.
Set clear parameters for appropriate emotional responses.
When your child displays aggressive behavior, it may provide the perfect opportunity to teach your child to express his/ her emotions appropriately. Take the opportunity of their aggressive behavior towards others to state clearly that it is inappropriate and suggest a more fitting response. The child is looking to you to clearly set the limits.
Listen carefully and help your child to identify his/her feelings in words.
Disapproving of his/her fear or anger will not stop the child from having those feelings, but it may well force him/ her to repress them. Unfortunately, repressed feelings do not fade away; they still need to be expressed. They remain trapped and look for a way out. Because they are not under conscious control, they pop up in other forms, such as aggressive behavior, nightmares, or the development of a nervous tic.
Be a strong role model to help your children develop strong emotional intelligence
Children watch the adults in their environment very carefully and emulate their actions rather than listening to advice. If the adults around them use effective methods of conflict resolution: conversation, negotiation and kindliness, then your child will absorb these skills well.
There is abundant research on the risks to children who do not develop strong emotional intelligence. They are more likely to “self-medicate” with drugs and alcohol, or to act out impulsively in anger, and to engage in delinquent behaviours.
Children with high emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) on the other hand, do better in school, are more cooperative with parents, are healthier, are happier, and choose friends who are closer to their own parents and less likely to engage in risky behaviors. As they grow up, their emotional intelligence helps them build more rewarding relationships in every area of their lives, which also leads to professional success and better parenting.