Many Smartick parents ask us about the information we gather at the beginning of the session on how the children are feeling. If children are able to identify their mood and how it influences them when they are faced with a task, they will be able to learn how to adjust it.
When we face the everyday world it is important that we look into ourselves where numerous chemical reactions are happening every moment, which we call thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Being able to identify, modify, and use them appropriately is necessary to be able to relate to our environment.
The four basic pillars of emotional intelligence are:
- Self – awareness.
- Self – management.
- Social awareness.
- Relationship management.
Explain to your little one that emotion, thought, and action all feed into one another. When event ”X” happens, it does not create the physiological reaction, but rather it is our interpretations of the event that causes reactions. A way of helping our child become aware of this relationship, and help their emotional intelligence and self-control, is by taking the time together to write examples from daily life and filling in each picture seen below:
To work on emotional intelligence, begin by putting names to the emotions. In order to be ”emotionally cultured” people, a good strategy is to learn to name the basic emotions, what is joy, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust? How do we feel when these feelings arise? In what situations do they come up?
Whenever working with little ones, it is always good to use something graphic: drawings, cards, dolls…
Teach them how to communicate with their inner self. We can learn to communicate assertively very simply following these three steps:
- Express how you’re feeling.
- Demonstrate what you think.
- Vocalize what you want to happen.
For example: “I feel angry because Peter took the ball from me when I had it, and I would like him to give it back to me.”
Encourage active listening. While doing this it is important to remember:
- There is a difference between hearing and listening.
- Express to the other person that you are listening and understanding what they are saying.
- Show empathy: “I understand how you are feeling.”
- Do not judge or discredit other peoples opinions.
- Respect silence.
“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” – Daniel Goleman
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