How To Raise A Child With High EQ

Having a child with a high EQ (emotional quotient) is something every parent wants, but do you actually work towards imbibing something like that in your children? The actual secret to raising a child who understands others’ feelings and empathizes with them, is to give your children the space to understand and express their own emotions. 

 Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to effectively recognize feelings in oneself and others, to appropriately express and regulate these feelings, and to use them effectively to guide one’s thoughts and behavior in working towards a desired goal. — Rachael K. Tan

Self-awareness, emotional attunement to others and knowledge of one’s own emotional states are several qualities belonging to a person with a high EQ.

A child who is self-aware, possesses insight, and is considerate of other people’s feelings is often a child who is emotionally intelligent and on the way to possessing a high EQ.   

A multitude of positive emotional qualities stems from these general capacities such as appreciation, thoughtfulness, empathy, and kindness. A child who is in touch with his or her emotions, maybe a child who can identify a feeling state, instead of inappropriately acting it out.

It is natural for a child to have an occasional meltdown, lapse in appreciation, or a self-absorbed moment, but most children with a healthy emotional constitution regularly exhibit conscientious capacities within the context of a close relationship.

“Thank you,” “I’m sorry,” “I made a mistake,” or “Are you okay?” A child who rarely says these without a prompt may lack the deeper emotional aptitudes that allow a person to eventually achieve emotional intelligence.

Too often a parent excuses a child from displaying appreciation, accountability, or empathy. “They are just a kid.” This may be an egregious mistake.

Related: Teaching Your Children Mental And Emotional Balance

Character is established early, and the correlation between a secure attachment with a caregiver and emotional intelligence is evidence that a child is capable of exhibiting these qualities at a young age.

When fostered, these characteristics may result in a child with healthy emotional regulation, emotional intelligence, and eventually a high EQ.

secure attachment is formed when an infant\toddler experiences a caregiver who is emotionally attuned and empathically responds to him or her.

raise a child
Raise a child

In addition, a parent who is able to admit fault within the context of the parent-child dyad actually allows a child an opportunity to experience self-awareness and accountability within the attachment relationship.

“I’m sorry I lost my cool. I probably scared you. I love you.” These are examples of a parent who takes ownership of his or her mistakes in a relationship with a child.

When a caregiver displays self-awareness, accountability, and empathy in the parent-child relationship, the child has an opportunity to experience and internalize these emotionally intelligent qualities.

Alternatively, a parent who believes he or she is never wrong, rarely says sorry when he or she makes a mistake and is unaware of a child’s feelings, may unwittingly prevent a child from integrating important emotionally intelligent capacities.

Related: How to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children: 3 Crucial Lessons To Teach

Moreover, a parent who shames a child for having a feeling that differs from how the parent feels may also be a barrier to the child’s emotional growth.

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Dr. Erin Leonard, Ph.D.

Dr. Erin Leonard, Ph.D. is an award-winning researcher, author, and psychotherapist. For more than 20 years, she has helped her clients recover their well-being and improve their mental health. With years of training and a clear understanding of what goes into providing a compassionate approach to psychotherapy, Dr. Leonard provides unique counseling and therapeutic services in the Michiana area. Her extensive training and wealth of experience ensure her clients experience improvement quickly Dr. Leonard specializes in individual, couples, and family therapy. However, her practice is a safe and open space for anyone with the need to be heard, understood, and treated.View Author posts