In a recent talk about emotional intelligence and parenting, some amazing experts shed light on the importance of how parents show up for their children emotionally. One question that really stuck out was, “How are parents checking and recognizing their own emotions, and how that relates to their child’s well-being?” It’s something we don’t often think about – how we’re showing up for others, especially our children.

Children are Like Sponges

It’s easy to think that children don’t know what’s going on, that they don’t understand, or that they’re not going to know any better. But let me tell you, kids are like little sponges. They pick up everything.

“Children pick up a lot of stuff from their environment, and that includes their interactions with other people, but also with their environment itself.”

Whether a child is adventurous and extroverted or more quiet, reserved, and introverted, it doesn’t mean they don’t know what’s going on. Every person’s perception of their environment and what’s good or bad is very subjective and different from person to person.

Celebrating Individuality

As parents or caregivers, we might have children who seem so different from our other kids that we wonder where they came from. Yes, they may have the same genetic pool and be raised in the same environment, but they can be completely different and have totally different ways of managing the information that is downloaded into their reality. And that’s totally fine!

The ultimate goal is to figure out what works for your child as an individual, not to group them as a member of the family or community. People are different, and that’s the beauty of being human. We have to do a better job at recognizing that and giving children the commitment that it’s okay to be different.

Understanding Your Child

As a parent or caregiver, it’s important to understand what makes a child tick, what is driving them to do the things they do. To do this, you need to ask specific questions and get to know the child for themselves, rather than just listening to the information their parents or caregivers are telling you.

When having conversations with children, truly give them the space to ask questions, get clarifications, and explain things from their perspective. But do this in a way that is non-judgmental and non-reactionary.

Tips for Understanding Your Child:
- Ask specific questions
- Get to know the child as an individual
- Give them space to ask questions and explain their perspective
- Be non-judgmental and non-reactionary

Managing Your Own Emotions

We all have a tendency to react or respond when we hear certain things. We all experience getting triggered by things from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s part of our innate being as human beings. The challenge is whether we let this run rampant and take control of us, or if we rein it in and take control.

When having difficult or exploratory conversations with your children, make sure you are giving them space and not being judgmental or bringing your own emotions or thoughts into your child’s reality or experience. It’s easier said than done, but you have to allow space for that.

The Impact of Your Emotions on Your Child

Your child is very wise. They may be non-speaking, or they may present themselves or behave in a certain manner. But everything you’re speaking to them, what you’re telling them expressively, and also the things you are showing them that are unspoken – all of those things will affect your child in some way.

Hopefully, it is a positive impact, but sometimes, unfortunately, it’s not. We are seeing more and more children who are having challenges, and we’re seeing generation after generation have certain challenges around certain areas when it comes to trauma.

“Make sure that you are being more mindful of how your emotions may be impacting your children’s needs and well-being.”

Conclusion

Emotional intelligence and parenting go hand in hand. As parents and caregivers, we have to be mindful of how we’re showing up for our children emotionally. Children pick up on everything, and our own emotions and reactions can have a significant impact on their well-being.

By celebrating individuality, seeking to understand our children as individuals, managing our own emotions, and being mindful of the impact our emotions have, we can foster positive emotional intelligence in our children and support their overall well-being.

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