Long gone are the days of IQ test. Here is why emotional intelligence (EQ) is a better predictor of your child’s success.
What does it mean to be emotionally intelligent?
Remain calm during challenging times.
Lead by example, as you care about being congruent and authentic in your interactions with your team.
Be aware you have the ability to choose your emotions rather than your emotions choosing you, which can lead to you acting out in ways you later regret.
Be thoughtful in your decisions as you consider the good of the whole, rather than just the best outcome for yourself.
Develop win/win scenarios when working with others because of your genuine empathy (hurting another would be like hurting yourself).
Emotions and your body
We have 3 brains. Let’s not forget about our gut, as 90% of serotonin is produced in our gut. Serotonin is our “happy” hormone which affects our mood and emotions. You have heard the saying “you are what you eat” and it couldn’t be more true here. If you are a parent dealing with a child with high emotions, ups and downs, firstly look at their diet. Look at patterns…did the child have anything highly processed, sugar filled, full of additives before his emotional episode? It could be a whole host of different reasons, are they tired, did they have a bad day at school, any other stressors in their life? Let’s not forget they experience so many things for the first time and they need our help to guide them through those emotions.
Coming back to our diet though, food that is highly processed, full of sugar, wheat or additives is not recognised by our body and it creates internal stress. Our body is working much harder to process it. This stress can add to inflammation, which means that the messages our gut is sending to the brain are not the right messages. It’s no more happy hormones, but full of cortisol (stress hormone) which then adds to the overwhelming feeling our child get.
Luckily we have control of our diet and this is something we can change. I know, it’s never easy, but at least we know this is something we can work on.
The way we respond to our children when they are going through an experience will form a belief. It’s the same for us. You know that negative self talk…I’m not good at this, it’s going to be a disaster, what if….Again this is something we can break from, isn’t that great. Our brain wiring can be changed and moulded and we can work on this…don’t worry, nothing is a done deal. I have many negative beliefs I’m working on. And it’s not easy, but it’s a journey. And sometimes pretty funny.
That reminds me, don’t forget to add humour to your life. And the fact that you have read this blog all the way here means that you give a sh*t. So pat yourself on the back, you are an awesome human being.
Onto the next….
Emotions are organic
We have emotions. Yes, because we are human AF. In children, bigger the better. Again pat yourself on the back, your child’s brain is developing as it should. All emotions will also past. Yes, just count, or offer glass of water or hug without saying anything. Validate their feeling. It’s about how we support them through those emotions.
There are so many tools out there and here are the books recommended:
Raising an emotionally intelligent child by Gottman
No Drama Discipline by Siegel and Payne Bryson
Raising resilient children. New York: McGraw-Hill
Our olfactory system is a powerful tool
One of the tools you can use is essential oils. You can create “anchors” for your children by using calming or grounding oils when they have hightened nervous system, tantrums or are overwhelmed. When child goes through a tantrum, that is not the time to discipline or start talking or problem solving…they will not hear you. You can however use their sense of smell to calm them and once they are calm you go through with communication. They are more likely to respond and pay attention.
What happens there is that their limbic system is creating a memory of this emotion linked with this particular smell. “I’ve just smelled Frankincense and it calmed me down and I resolved this issue”. If you use this multiple times over the result will only get better as the brain will remember - smell + reaction = experience.
I could talk for hours and hours on this topic. If you want to know more, get in touch.