What is emotional intelligence?
Essentially emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to know and regulate your own emotions and those of others, and then use that ability to control thinking and action. Skills contributing to emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.
In fact, some studies show that people with high emotional intelligence are generally more successful in all areas of their life, because they understand and manage their emotions better?  Makes you think doesn't it?
This is why I often use the term "Super Power" for emotional intelligence because when you cultivate it, you become more balanced and better equipped to face the challenges of life at any age.
 Gottman Institute
Expressing and cultivating your children's emotions
In Canada, 1.2 million children are affected by mental illness. Yet less than 20% of them will receive appropriate treatment. There is a growing international evidence showing that promotion, prevention and early intervention initiatives have a positive return on investment.
So why don't we put more emphasis on the emotional and mental health of our children?
Do you want to know my opinion? I think it's just because it's more difficult. Dealing with our children's unpleasant emotions is a much bigger challenge than teaching them to do a puzzle or count to 10. Yet if we want our children to grow up to be human beings who have more self-esteem, more empathy, more sensitivity, more courage, more respect… in short, with greater emotional intelligence. What a better world it would be don't you think?
Here are 5 steps developed by John Gottman (Gottman Institute) that will help your children cultivate their emotional intelligence.
Be aware of your child's (and yours) emotions.
Observe how the different emotions are expressed (facial expressions, body expressions, etc.)
Recognize emotion as an opportunity for connection or teaching.
Encourage your child to talk about his feelings. Offer them guidance before their emotions lead to inappropriate behavior. Do not ask the child to suppress his emotions by telling them to "stop crying" or "stop screaming", this only devalues his feelings.
Demonstrate empathy and understanding.
Take the time to listen to your child. Avoid criticizing and judging the emotion you feel.
Help your child to verbalize his emotion.
After good listening, help your child become aware of his emotion and find the vocabulary to communicate it.
Help your child find solutions while setting limits.
All emotions are okay, but not all behaviors. Help your child deal with their emotions by developing problem-solving skills. In short, limit expression to appropriate behaviors and help your child set goals and generate solutions to achieve those goals.
Sometimes the stages of emotional coaching unfold quickly. Other times these steps can take a long time.
Patience is the key. If the problem is significant, it is not necessary to complete all five steps in one interaction.
And remember to breathe! If we're not calm as a parent, the results we're looking for just won't be there!
More articles to come soon !!