Emotional Intelligence: A gift from Parents to Children

When Daniel Goleman coined the term ‘Emotional Intelligence’ it was used for individuals, chiefly leaders to check whether they were emotionally intelligent and to work on the shortcomings.

Out of the five core ingredients of Emotional Intelligence – self awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills, leaders need first three with respect to themselves while they need last two with respect to other people in their lives.

Parents need to develop theses five qualities so that their children learn them subtly. The best way for parents to raise emotionally intelligent kids is to practice these five skills and share the experiences with their children.

1. Self Awareness: It refers to knowing what works for you, what drives you and what puts you off or hampers your productivity / creativity.

I am a person who loves to plan and work in an organised manner. Last minute hassles make me tense while my husband works in complete chaos and finishes everything at the last second. (He starts in the last minute!)

We both are aware of our strikingly different ways of performing. We both achieve excellent results using two extremely diverse ways of executing.

Our daughter has observed both of us and we have prompted her to be aware of what works for her. She tells me that she is very organised academically while she follows a chaotic way of practicing when it comes to her music sessions.

I am sure a deeper self awareness will dawn on her with time.

2. Self Regulation: It refers to controlling our disruptive impulses and checking our behavior in responsible positions.

If we can control our urge to scream when a team member messes up the presentation, if we can stop our eyes from welling up when our children break our trust, we show our strengths and hide our weakness.

It is not only important for children to learn not to do what they impulsively want to do but it is also equally important for them to do what they do not want to do in spite of knowing its importance. If they don’t like to practice Math or coding, they must be subtly pushed to do “deep practice.”

3. Motivation: Parents should know what ignites their passion and happiness level apart from money and popularity.

The things that drive our passion apart from monetizing and gaining fame, define us as people and change makers.

I was speaking at a NEN E Leader Workshop recently as a volunteer resource person for management students. Working with them for a day charged me, meeting other like minded people made me happy.

I shared the experience with my daughter to make her understand the importance of self motivation that ignites your creative spots.

4. Empathy: Raising a child who is empathetic is quite difficult if the parents are not empathetic. When we are considerate towards how others feel, when we simply affirm – I know how you feel, it gives an emotional cushion to the concerned person. Our empathy towards our staff members, our team members, our friends teach valuable lessons to our children.

They naturally become more accommodating with their peers giving them benefit of doubt in trying situations.

5. Social Skills: Having numerous friends and followers on social networking sites is quite different from having real friends / supporters who would stand by you for a cause or in hours of need.

If our social skills can help us mobilize people for supporting a cause, if we can garner their skilled support without paying them, it shows that people believe in us and care for us. If our children can observe our social skills which bring change, they learn the importance of valuing relationships and investing time to nurture friendly bonds in real world.

It is important for us to give them a honest perspective of friendships and collaborations. They seem to be happy as if they have made a great achievement when they get likes on Instagram pics or Facebook statuses. We need to make them realise that real social skills go far beyond clicking the like button.

A Parent practicing emotional intelligence tools can certainly become an emotionally intelligent leader. As a bonus, he/she can raise emotionally intelligent kids.

 

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!

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How to do what you do not want to do.

Self Regulation“I will arrange my closet today.”

“I will surely communicate my real opinion to my team about the new project.”

“I will spend time with my 8 years old the way she wants.”

“This is my last cigarette.”

We know that we should do it all but we don’t.

It has nothing to do with our New Year Resolutions but everything to do with our EFFORTFUL CONTROL.

It is obvious that we like to do what comes easy to us – effortlessly.

If keeping a ‘bursting at seams’ wardrobe is effortless, we will somehow close it and forget about it till we open it again.

If ‘beating around the bush’ is far more effortless than being a “I don’t mince words” leader, I will continue to be a polite leader.

If I find playing Monopoly very boring, I will keep motivating my child to watch a film with me as that is what comes easy to me and interests me.

Letting the cigarette bite the dust forever requires me to take my self control a notch higher.

But how do I do what I don’t want to do but should:

  1. Welcome self change – We are phenomenal slaves of our habits. Resisting change is second nature to us. Giving all sort of excuses like “there is no time”, “there is so much stress” to justifying our behavior seems easier than admitting that we are fooling ourselves to remain the way we are.

First, admit that you need to change.

Second, instruct yourself to change.

Third, make a plan to initiate change.

Fourth, stick to it.

Fifth, pat yourself and talk about it to someone who can empathise and enforce the change.

Sixth, hold on to the change till it becomes the new habit.

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  1. Believe in the law of delayed gratification – Notice children around you. While filling their plates for lunch/dinner, there are some who gobble up their favorite dish first while there are some who would save their favorite dish to be savored at end. The former type will not be able to change easily while the latter type knows the charm of saving the best for the end which keeps them motivated to finish the less likeable but nutritious part of the meal. Former children might not even finish everything on the plate after having their favorite part first.

Delayed gratification empowers us to sit through the mundane but necessary tasks as our favorite task waits for us towards the end. This delayed gratification works only when we auto-suggest the same to ourselves. It should not be offered by others like bait.

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  1. Practice Effotful Control – I read about 12 years old boy from a Mumbai school who realized that he and his friend had a crush on the same girl. He told his friend to stay away from her to which the friend refused. After a few days the friend became a butt of jokes in his class as everyone started calling him gay. He found a lot of objectionable material posted on his profile. The Cyber Crime Cell of Mumbai Crime Branch found out that the 12 year old in the love triangle maligned his friend on facebook.

Not only this, an eleven year old in Mumbai staged her own kidnap drama to avoid writing a tough English test in school a day later. The child, on being caught by Police, revealed that she feared failing in the exam and did not want to be scolded by her dad.

Both the children, in the above cases, did not know where to draw the line on behavior such as this. We, as a society, have failed in helping them develop the ability to control or direct their own feelings.

Obesity among children, addiction to gadgets, drugs, violent behavior, tantrum throwing also arises out of lack of self-regulation.

We, as parents, should do two things to teach our children the art of self-regulation. First, let them feel the sensation of distress that accompanies an unfulfilled need. This is simple. Let us not make everything available to them. Let us not shelter them from feeling of delayed gratification.

Second, expose them repetitively to controllable challenges. Have you seen any child when he learns to ride a bicycle? The child sees someone riding a bicycle or some tutor shows him by holding the balancing act. After modeling for the learner, the tutor would hand over the cycle to the learner. As he practices, the tutor would offer hints and cues by remaining attentive as the learner tries. When the learner tries to balance his feet on both pedals, tutor gives support for a while. Then, he withdraws support gradually but completely. This three-tier approach of modeling, offering hints and gradually withdrawing adult support makes a person learn self-regulation.

Show, Help, Withdraw support – Repetition of the same process will help them develop their stress response mechanism. When the support is followed by independent action, they learn the lessons right.

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook 

Also read her best articles here!