A parent who is in tune with how a child feels and honors the feeling, yet upholds expectations and rules, is a parent who empathizes instead of enables.
First, honor the child’s feelings. Next, redirect, correct, reassure, encourage, or problem-solve. Once the child feels understood, less alone, and connected to the parent, he or she is usually more open to the parent’s redirection or reassurance.
If a parent is unable to follow through with expectations and rules, a sense of entitlement may arise in the child. Moreover, shielding a child from disappointment or accountability to protect him or her from emotional pain backfires because the child receives the message that he or she is entitled to receive special treatment.
When a child is able to experience painful emotional states in the context of a comforting parent-child relationship, it helps a child tolerate and regulate these difficult emotions. This often results in a child who is resilient.
Conversely, a child who is shielded from uncomfortable feeling states such as, disappointment, remorse, and accountability, may not have the opportunity to experience these emotions within the realm of a safe relationship. If a young child is left alone with these painful feelings states for a prolonged period of time without support, he or she may unconsciously resurrect extreme and robust defense mechanisms to ward off the emotional pain and shame.
Emotional intelligence is a priceless attribute. Raising a child who has a high EQ is an important goal. In addition, its benefits may have a ripple effect on the child’s family, community, and culture. The compassion and selflessness an emotionally intelligent human being exudes, may resolve conflict, allow for trust in a relationship, and heal and empower others.
Panfile, Tia M., and Deborah J. Laible. “Attachment Security and Child’s Empathy: The Mediating Role of Emotion Regulation.” Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, vol. 58, no. 1, 2012, pp. 1–21. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23098060. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.
You can read Dr. Erin Leonard’s book “Emotional Terrorism, Breaking The Chains of A Toxic Relationship” to know more about this, and you can get it here. She has several other books to her credit, and you can check them out here.
Written By Erin Leonard
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today
Like every parent out there, you wanting a child with a high EQ is natural. But, when you desire something like that, you need to put in work to ensure that. Children always rely on the guidance and support of their parents, so as a parent, it is your responsibility to inculcate an emotional balance and maturity in them. If you start doing this from a young age, your children will blossom into emotionally intelligent and happy people.
If you want to know more about how you can raise a child with high EQ, then check this video out below: