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Parents can teach children to channel their emotions and identify them. It is important for children to learn to control themselves and to be empathetic with others. Emotional education is part of the child's formation. The psychologistSilvia Álava, in this interview to Guiainfantil.com, clarifies what emotional intelligence consists of, how it can be measured in children and how to educate their emotions and feelings so that they are happier.
How can parents educate their children's emotions?
Parents can help educate their children's emotions, of course they can. But it will be even more effective if we do it with a correct emotional education program. Because these emotional education programs have been shown to have a positive effect on psychological adjustment, on academic performance and on social relationships, and also reduce aggressive behaviors.
It is important that parents work with children the importance of communication, that they learn to express their emotions, to say how they feel. You also have to work on empathy: knowing how you feel but also how the other person is feeling. When we work on empathy, when we are empathic, that will help us a lot in our social relationships, it will help us understand how the other feels, and the moment we understand that it will facilitate us, what is the behavior that we must have, and this must be educated from a very young age.
How to teach children to channel their feelings?
One of the most important things is to tell them what they will not allow: to yell, to yell, to kick, or to throw a tantrum. If the child sees that by channeling the emotion in this way, which is through the tantrum or through an emotional outburst, which has an audience, that behavior is being greatly reinforced, then the first thing we have to do is eliminate that reinforcement.
Work from what we call extension in psychology. Tell him that this behavior is not going to be valid at all and that when he does that, he will stay alone for a little while. Until we eliminate this positive part that the tantrum can have for the child, the child will not be in a position to learn to regulate his emotion in another way. Maybe just saying, hey it's true that I feel bad, but that's it, I'll let it pass and start doing something else.
How and when do we have to teach children to control their emotions?
Children can be taught to control emotions from a very young age, they must be taught to tolerate frustration. The first thing of all is that they perceive it. We can say to the child: "I understand that you are angry because you cannot take the candy but now you don't have to drink it."
From a very young age, they are helped to control their emotions. And the fundamental thing when they are small we are going to focus a lot on that they are able to recognize the emotions that they know when they are happy that they know when they are sad, that they know when they are angry, that they know when they are afraid, that they know how to verbalize it, and also tolerance to frustration, this is something that must be learned from the earliest childhood.
What kinds of emotional capacities should parents of their children reinforce?
If we look at this model that we are talking about the 4 factors of emotional intelligence, it would be:
- that children learn to perceive their own emotions, both their own and those of others
- that they learn to understand emotions, what is happening to them and to others.
- that these emotions also facilitate their behavior
- that they learn to manage and channel them.
Those would be the basic pillars of the emotional competencies that must be worked with children. Let us not forget to foster a good climate of trust very well, that there may be good communication. That children from a young age can communicate and can say how they feel. You have to ask the children how they feel but also how they think the parents or a little friend are feeling. These are things that are easy and that children can learn, and that parents can teach them since they are small.
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