Encouraging emotional intelligence in your grandchildren will help set the stage for healthy relationships in both their future family and professional life.
One of the best ways we can do this as grandparents is simply to model positive emotional behaviors.
How do we interact with others when they’re watching?
How do we socialize in public?
How do we talk about other people in the presence of our grandchildren?
Modeling respect and compassion for others goes a long way toward teaching young ones how to view and interact with the people they encounter throughout their lives.
Encourage children when they demonstrate efforts to be kind, interact calmly, or express feelings in healthy ways. Reinforcing good behaviors can often be more powerful than correcting bad ones. Correction is critical, but children thrive on praise.
We can watch them blossom under praise or wilt under constant criticism.
Listen and show empathy when your grandchildren have struggles understanding emotional interactions. Remember their youth and innocence of so many things about human behavior and interaction. Hurt feelings, anger, selfishness— these are all experiences children have while growing up. Instead of dismissing struggles because YOU know better, take time to teach them so they will know better the next time they encounter a similar emotional struggle.
We all continue to encounter human interaction surprises as we live our lives. We learn from one to the next by thinking it through, bouncing ideas off of others, and experiencing various situations. Your patience, explanations, and empathy when a young one is hurting could make a massive difference in how they move forward in their emotional development.
Teach them to think through and solve problems. Much emotional distress can come as a result of not being able to think clearly through the process of solving problems. Worry and fear invade when problems seem insurmountable. Helping children think through a problem and possible solutions, then making a wise choice of solution will give them confidence and security. Talk with them confidently about how problems can be solved if we take time to analyze, strategize, and choose wisely. Being able to solve problems builds confidence and confidence leads to healthier emotional interactions.
Finally, encourage your grandchildren to be self-aware in the realm of emotional interactions with others. We all influence others around us. The sooner children grasp the understanding that their emotions, actions, and behaviors affect others, the easier it will be for them to be empathetic and intuitive in their interactions with others. Empathy and intuitiveness naturally lead to more compassionate, kind, respectful, and fulfilling relationships.
We enjoy so many relationships throughout a lifetime that investing time in teaching our grands to have emotional intelligence has the potential for a big payoff in their life satisfaction. They will have more friends, do better in educational and professional pursuits, and have much better chances for happy marital and family relationships. It truly does start with training from birth on, however. We can bless them by intentionally building their emotional IQs.