Five Ways to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children

Have you ever lain in bed at night and worried if your child is learning everything he needs to know? As homeschooling parents preparing again for the new school year, much of our energy can be spent choosing the right curriculum to give our child a rich and rewarding academic education. We agonize over selecting the best homeschool curriculum in hopes of finding the right materials to make our child smarter or better. However, our real focus should be toward giving our child a greater level of emotional intelligence. Consider how these five parenting skills might help your homeschooling year go smoother and ensure your child's mental happiness and success in life:

Be a role model

Children observe you every day from sun up to sun down. Children see how you handle frustrations when your "hot buttons" are pushed and how resilient you are in dealing with interruptions, disobedience, and never-ending chores. Their future emotional intelligence is influenced by your awareness of your own feelings and the feelings of others. Therefore, knowing what makes you get upset with your children allows you to seek God's direction instead of "blowing up." Keep those buttons from being pushed by reading the Bible and encouraging homeschool devotionals like the Daily Focus®.

Be ready to tell your kids "no"

Children who always get everything they want aren't typically happy. From mouth-watering candy to tempting toys, there are plenty of things in the world that children beg to have each day. Saying "no" to some of those requests will help your child learn to deal with disappointment constructively. Good parenting includes allowing children to experience delayed gratification and teaching them to work through frustration in a godly fashion.

Be a coach

When children move beyond the toddler years, start coaching them to be more responsible for their needs. Instead of telling them "get this or get that" for school, you can ask, "What do you need to get ready to homeschool today?" Constantly telling your children what to do makes for stressed out homeschooling parents and children who fail to develop confidence and responsibility.

Set emotional goals as a family

Determine emotional house rules together as a family. Set specific goals that include respectful attitudes such as "no yelling or name calling" and "saying please and thank you." After all, families who are determined to set emotional goals by talking them out are more likely to attain them than those who don't. Reinforce the goals you've chosen by using an engaging Christian health curriculum that covers emotional and mental well being, such as Horizons Health for grades K-8 from Alpha Omega Publications®.

See your children as wonderful

Most importantly, remember that children have a way of living up to the perceptions made about them. If you believe in your children and view them as wonderful and capable, you'll probably end up getting a whole lot of "wonderful." If, however, you see them as a troublesome burden or problem, you'll likely experience a whole lot of problems. Beware of placing negative emotional labels on your children like "hot head" or "cry baby." Whether thinking these thoughts mentally or saying them out loud, these emotionally negative labels might just remain with your children for the rest of their lives.

Having above average academic intelligence is nice, but having a high "EQ" is even better. If you make these five parenting skills a part of your homeschool day, you'll give your children the best opportunity to develop emotional intelligence that leads to responsible, productive, and happy adults.

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Comments(1 comment)

Jim R 08/10/2008 13:28:41

Thank you for your tips. They have brought some insight into my life. I don\'t think I will be referring to my 4th child as the \"jabber jaw\" anymore.

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