Parenting with Emotional Intelligence
You might be asking just what is Emotional Intelligence and why is it such an important parenting skill? Emotional Intelligence is an ability to recognize, understand, and direct or redirect our emotions towards a positive outcome in our lives. When we apply it towards understanding our emotions as well as our children’s emotions we are addressing the vital part of what it means to be happy in this life.
I think we can all agree that we have our own way of parenting when it comes to managing our children’s negative emotional outbursts. Whether we can describe our parenting styles or not, the experts tell us we usually parent as we were parented. The three parenting styles I’ve observed since teaching emotional intelligence, (E.Q. for short) is the enabler, born free, or the authoritarian parent. The enabler is always cleaning up after their child, also called helicopter parents, always hovering to protect and swoop down to rescue whenever the child is in any kind of dilemma. Then we have the born free parent who doesn’t usually like rules themselves and feels they would be squashing their children’s individuality if they laid down rules. The authoritarian parent believes life is tough and kids need to get tough to survive. They set up rules and high standards of expectation on their children.
Many of us can’t say we fit neatly into one of these parenting style definitions but you get the idea. Well, then what kind of parent should we try to be? If as parents we could grant one wish to our children it would be that they be happy. Happiness requires sound mental health. Being mentally health requires Emotional Intelligence. If we want to coach our kids to be in touch with what they are feeling, we should consider ourselves as Simpatico parents. Simpatico parents understand that Simpatico means congenial, like minded, and friendly. Our logo of two heads facing each other signifies the human need for face to face empathic communication with a genuine deep concern for each other. We are first and foremost seeking to establish an intimate relationship between our children and ourselves. To achieve this we are striving to form open and honest communication that requires a vulnerability. If as parents we have trouble being intimate with ourselves, it’s of course going to be a challenge to be intimate with our kids.
Learning E.Q. will help anyone navigate all their relationships smoothly. One great feature of learning how to address your children’s negative emotions is the bonding that comes when your kids recognize that you are on their side. You are able to use each emotional incident as an opportunity to teach understanding and better choices when directing their emotions. E.Q. fosters resilient, responsible, and independent kids that are ready to meet the complex world they will be living in.
Becoming a Simpatico parent with Emotional Intelligence is a fun and easy style to learn with almost immediate recognizable results in yourself, your kids and your parent/child relationship.