Over the past decade, there’s been a lot of buzz about emotional intelligence (or EQ). And for good reason.
Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to effectively navigate the emotional component of personal and interpersonal experiences.
It’s quickly come to be considered one of the single most important skills for workplace relations, leadership, and general social skill development within just a few short years (or, at least, we’ve finally become aware of its role).
Because of the importance of EQ, if you’re an emotionally intelligent person you might be wondering, “does my being emotionally intelligent mean my child is more likely to become emotionally intelligent?” And if you’re not, you might be wondering if your own work to develop your emotional intelligence is likely to pay off for your child.
They’re great questions, especially if you’re trying to set your child up for success in the future. But is it true? Or does it not matter at all how emotionally intelligent you are, you’ll have to teach them from scratch?
Fortunately, recent research can answer that exact question as well as offer some suggestions for how to help your child develop more emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is a very important skill set, not just to be happier but also to succeed professionally.
– Daniel Lubetzky
A recent study published in the Journal of Adolescence sought to find out if a parent’s emotional intelligence could predict their child’s emotional intelligence in turn.
Researchers studied one-hundred and fifty-two families with teens between the ages of sixteen and seventeen years old and looked for signs of the transmission of emotional intelligence qualities from parent to child.
The results showed a clear sign that parents can likely pass on the qualities of emotional intelligence to their children.
That’s great news if you consider yourself emotionally intelligent. But what if you’re not?
What if emotional intelligence is a quality you consider important but you don’t believe you were blessed with much in the way of natural EQ?
EQ can develop naturally in a person, however, it’s also a factor that you have full control over. By utilizing the right exercises, you can develop emotional intelligence yourself which you can then pass on to your child.
Because the basis of emotional intelligence is considered self-awareness, developing a regular mindfulness practice can be highly beneficial for increasing your EQ.
Mindfulness is also an easy exercise to teach your child as it can be done within a matter of minutes each day (you could even sit and meditate together).
In addition to this, start keeping a journal where you write down how you’re feeling each day and learn to pay closer attention to the emotions that are bubbling up from your mind.
Also, make it a regular practice to sit down with your child and talk to them about how they’re feeling. This will not only help them develop their EQ but you as well by practicing the art of listening (and it’s a great bonding exercise!).