3 Things Emotionally Intelligent Parents Do

Things Emotionally Intelligent Parents Do Right

Being an emotionally intelligent parent is one of the most powerful and beautiful things you can do for your children. Emotionally intelligent parenting is crucial for raising an emotionally and mentally healthy child. Let’s explore the things emotionally intelligent parents do, and the habits of emotionally intelligent parents.

KEY POINTS

  • An emotionally intelligent parent empathizes instead of enables, listens instead of lectures, and looks inward to find accountability.
  • A parent who corrects a child’s behaviours instead of his or her feelings may help a child with emotional regulation.
  • A parent who occasionally self-reflects and introspects to ensure he or she is doing the right thing may be a parent who a child can trust.

Parenting is amazing, but it can also be confusing and frustrating. A parent who is too “soft” may raise an entitled child, but a parent who is overly harsh may inflict scars. Three essential concepts related to emotional intelligence may help a parent navigate the rough waters.

First, a parent who corrects a child’s behaviours instead of his or her feelings may be on the right track.

Second, a mom or dad who listens to understand in place of teaching and lecturing may be a person the child wants to talk to.

Third, an attachment figure who takes a moment to self-reflect and learn from a child may have an opportunity to grow and evolve as a person. Doing so models accountability and self-awareness for the child.

Often, a parent does not want a child to feel angry, disappointed, frustrated, or hurt. Yet, experiencing these emotions is inevitable in life. A child who can recognize, identify and articulate an uncomfortable emotion usually acts on it constructively.

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

3 Things Emotionally Intelligent Parents Do

A parent who resonates with and respects what the child is feeling may help the child recognize the distressing emotion within himself or herself. This awareness is the foundation of emotional regulation.

Next, correcting bad behaviours helps a child realize that feelings are okay but acting out is not. A child who feels understood is often a child who is more inclined to adjust negative behaviour’s.

For example, Ben comes home enraged. He enters through the back door, slams it, and throws his backpack across the hall. Startled, his mom looks up from the kitchen. She immediately addresses Ben. She reflects and respects his anger but corrects his behavior.

“Ben, you are mad. I can see. I do not know why, but I want to. But you cannot throw your stuff. Please go pick it up.” Ben softens a touch and picks up his backpack and places it on the hook in the entry.

He walks over to his mom and tearfully explains that he attempted to stick up for a younger kid on the bus and the older kids turned on him and threw his paper out the window.

The mom continues to empathize, “That is awful. I would be mad too. You have every right.” Ben looks at her and says, “It was my homework for tomorrow.” The mom honors Ben’s feelings, “I bet you are worried and frustrated. You tried to do the right thing and now you may be in trouble for not having your homework. It stinks.”

Ben allows his mom to hug him and then says, “It’s okay, I’ll answer the questions on another sheet of paper. Mary (sister) has the questions on her worksheet.”

“Great idea, buddy. Do you need my help?” Ben asks for a snack and the mom sits next to him as he eats. Ben feels understood, supported, and close to his mom, who gets it.

Things emotionally intelligent parents do

Alternatively, the mom corrects Ben’s feelings instead of his behaviours. After he throws his backpack, she yells, “What is wrong with you!? Go to your room until you can calm down!” Now, Ben is ashamed of his anger instead of his behaviour.

He feels completely alone in his predicament and has indirectly learned that it is not safe to express what he is feeling to his mom, who does not get it. He is so mad that he breaks his video game and rips up the rest of his homework.

In the first example, the mom honours Ben’s emotions while upholding the rules. She conveys to Ben that his emotions are not bad or shameful, but his behaviours may be. Ben feels understood and is able to correct his missteps.

Related: How To Help Children Cope With Anger And Angry Feelings

Second, a mom or dad who listens to understand in place of teaching and lecturing usually preserves their closeness with a child. This is critical because the parent avoids immediately imposing his or her agenda on the child and instead keeps the discussion focused on the feeling that the child needs help with.

A child who has room to express his opinion in the parent-child dyad may be more likely to talk about a problem.

For example, early Monday morning, Billy tells his dad his stomach hurts. His father feels his forehead and asks Billy if he has vomited. Billy says, “No.” His dad crouches down and says, “Well, you don’t have a fever and you haven’t thrown up.”

Billy says, “I just hate Mondays, Dad. They are your long day at work and I don’t see you until 8 o’clock tonight.”

Billy’s dad empathizes, “I know, buddy. I have the same yucky feeling in my stomach. Mondays are hard, but we have to do it. School and work are important.” Billy feels understood and close to his dad, who gets it. He gives his dad a hug and runs to his room to get ready.

Alternatively, the dad immediately launches into a lecture about the importance of school. “Are you faking the flu so you can stay home? Do you know how important school is? Don’t you want to get into a good college? Don’t you want to get a good job? Don’t you want to be able to support a family?”

Billy’s dad drones on about the importance of education, and Billy leaves for school feeling worse than when he woke up.

Equally as counter-productive is a parent who bends the rules for a child because he or she feels sorry for the child. Enabling instead of empathizing may communicate to the child that he or she is a “victim” of the situation and thus entitled to opt out of responsibilities. Once this victim mentality is instilled, it may be difficult to rectify.

Third, a parent who occasionally self-reflects regarding a child’s feedback may gain insight and use it to become a better parent. This models introspection and self-awareness.

When these qualities occur in the context of the attachment relationship, it can be powerful for a child.

Experiencing a parental figure who looks at himself or herself to ensure he or she is doing the right thing may communicate to the child that accountability in a relationship is important and useful.

Things emotionally intelligent parents do

For example, a mom and her son are driving to an out-of-town soccer tournament. Halfway there, he asks, “Do you know why Molly (his sibling) went with her friend?” The mom replies, “Well, honey, it’s probably more fun to ride with a friend.” Her son shakes his head and says, “No, mom. She is scared when you drive. She thinks you drive too fast.”

The mom thinks for a minute. She reflects on her son’s comment. She does not want to believe it. Her heart breaks a little as she realizes her own daughter is scared of something she is doing.

She is also hurt that her daughter would choose another parent to ride with. She reviews her driving style and recognizes that her son is correct; she drives too fast.

She mentions to her son that she believes that he is right. He says to her, “Mom, why don’t you just say to yourself, ‘calm and slow’ when you drive?” The mom repeats the mantra and finds it helpful. She immediately feels better.

Related: 5 Common Parenting Errors and How To Be A Better Parent

That evening at the hotel, the mom apologizes to Molly and promises to drive more responsibly. She shares her new motto with Molly who appreciates it and supports her mom.

In this example, the mom gains self-awareness and models it for her children. Molly and Matt probably respect their mom for caring enough about the relationship to hold herself accountable and make a healthy change.

Empathy is a cornerstone of emotional intelligence and is an exceptionally important parenting tool. Honouring a child’s feelings while upholding expectations and limits may be the most effective way to remain close to a child.

In addition, a parent who listens without lecturing may be a parent the child wants to talk to. Lastly, a parent who is self-aware and introspective may be a parent who the child can trust.


Written By Erin Leonard
Originally Appeared On Psychology Today
emotionally intelligent parents
Ads

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

Only Child Syndrome: A Closer Look At The World Of An Only Child

Only Child Syndrome: Exploring An Only Child's World

What is the only child syndrome and how does an only child feel growing up without siblings? This article is going to talk about how it feels being an only child, and what it entails. So, let’s get started, shall we?

There is a stereotype that only children, children without siblings, fail to develop the ordinary social bonds and attachments that children with siblings do. The reality is more nuanced.

It does not follow that children with siblings are automatically more adaptable, more able to share, more able to understand group dynamics, but it is the case that only children didn’t grow up having to deal with



Up Next

Child Parentification: The Cause, Signs, and Recovery

Clear Signs Of Child Parentification In Adults

Ever felt like you were the parent instead of the child? That might be child parentification. Let’s explore its causes, signs, and how to recover together.

The term child parentification was coined in 1967 by family systems theorist Salvador Minuchin, who said the phenomenon occurred when parents de facto delegated parenting roles to children.

It can happen when one parent is physically absent or when a dysfunctional family is under stress because a parent cannot perform their parental responsibilities.

Usually, this is due to a phy



Up Next

6 Signs You’re Ready To Start A Family

Signs You’re Ready To Start A Family With Your Partner

You want a baby, a little one to call your own, yet you’re not sure if you really are ready to start a family? Being a parent isn’t as easy as it seems. You can’t just wish for a child then boom, they’re born.

Before even starting the process of family planning, you need to first figure out whether or not this is truly something that you want.

While for some couples around the world, having a baby is their ultimate dream. That’s not always the case for everyone else.

Some can’t decide if they actually do want kids or not while others are already excited and some are straight up terrified. It’s also no secret that life changes forever when there’s a little one in tow. The question �



Up Next

Why Introvert Extrovert Couples Make Great Parents: 8 Compelling Reasons

Reasons Introvert Extrovert Couples Make Great Parents

You know why introvert extrovert couples make great parents? They’re the perfect combination of yin and yang. Introvert extrovert couples work really well because where one person lacks, the other makes up in spades. And this approach reflects in their parenting skills as well. They have different ways of looking at things, and they give the best of both worlds to their children.

In this article, we are going to explore some of the major reasons why introvert extrovert couples make a powerful team when it comes to the battle of parenting their children.

So, if you are someone who is in an introvert and extrov



Up Next

Zodiac Signs As Moms: Discover Your Celestial Parenting Style Here

Zodiac Signs As Moms: Powerful Parenting Styles Unveiled

Do you find motherhood as exhilarating as it is demanding? The zodiac signs as moms bring unique parenting styles to the mix!

Motherhood is a unique path where the 12 zodiac moms bring different cosmic energy. Our personality is shaped by stars and the 12 zodiac signs are therefore associated with certain motherhood traits that differ from one another.

Thus, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s venture on a whimsical journey through the world of astrology to find out who these celestial zodiac moms truly are.

Zodiac Signs As Moms



Up Next

Under The Narcissistic Veil: The Struggles Of Sons Of Narcissistic Mothers

Sons Of Narcissistic Mothers: Understanding Their Struggles

Having a narcissistic mother is, safe to say, one of the most traumatic things to go through. Sons of narcissistic mothers look at the world and relationships in an entirely skewed way, and this is due to the lessons they have learned growing up with a narcissistic mother.

KEY POINTS

The worldview of a young man whose mother has narcissistic personality disorder becomes skewed.

NPD is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and a lack of empathy, among other traits.

Once one have been gaslit, they may always suspect the people they are close with may be ho



Up Next

How Men Suffer From The Lack Of Maternal Love And Affection When Raised by Unloving Mothers

How Men Suffer From The Lack Of Maternal Love

It is a commonly accepted belief that motherly love and affection are essential for the healthy development of a child. However, research suggests that a lack of maternal love and affection can have particularly negative effects on men.

According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, men who reported having a lack of maternal love and affection during their childhood were more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety as adults, compared to men who reported having a warm and loving relationship with their mothers.

Similarly, ano