We want the best for our children. From the moment they’re born, we look for ways to stimulate learning potential and strengthen their IQ (Intelligence Quotient). While studies differ on whether we can actually enhance IQ, they concur that we can – and should – support Emotional Intelligence /Quotient (EQ). Doing so not only improves a child’s ability to learn, it provides tools for managing emotions and developing coping skills that result in healthy self-esteem and good decision-making.

EQ is defined as the ability to identify and manage emotions, as well as having regard for the emotions of others. People with high EQ exhibit leadership skills and are typically excellent team members. Of course we want our children to have a high EQ. However, with our busy adult lives and our child’s organized play, we seem to be ignoring its importance. Today, nearly one in five children has an emotional disorder such as anxiety, depression, or behavioral conduct problems. Children are sponges, they absorb and mirror what they see and so modeling for them healthy skills is vitally important.

Understanding My Personality

Paul Fayad, an expert in the field says that the Personality Assessment Test (PAT) offers an invaluable tool for parents to gain self-awareness and insights into their unique personalities and behaviors, allowing them to foster stronger connections with their children based on mutual understanding and growth. With testing you can find out about your Emotional Intelligence/Quotient (EQ) via online testing. I recommend the PAT. it takes about 20-30 minutes. When you see and understand you, via this assessment, you can better accurately see and understand how others are, in relation to you. When you have the time, here is the link to take the assessment. Paul Fayad, who is one of the primary researchers of the PAT, and a strong children’s advocate and humanitarian, “The PAT℠ offers parents a transformative journey of self-reflection and growth, providing valuable insights that strengthen their relationships with their children and foster an atmosphere of love, understanding, and authentic connection.”

Fun Tools To Help

UCLA psychology department research revealed profound changes in one’s brain before and after naming emotions. Using fMRI, they can watch live how the brain calms down when naming emotions. The Human Improvement Project put out this short video clip which gives a good example so you can relate to this. They also have an App called The Happy Child, it is called a parenting app but it is actually good for anyone working on their emotional intelligence!

“In the same way you hit the brake when you see a yellow light, when you put feeling into words you seem to be hitting the brakes on your emotional responses.”

The folks at The How We Feel Project non-profit were inspired by Ben Sibermann’s passion to create a more emotionally healthy world. He worked with scholars at Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence to create and offer trainings for teachers, students and families. Their app is phenomenal and is an easy to use emotional well-being journal. It helps you find the right words to describe how your emotions and identify patterns through daily tracking. Check it out!

According to Dr. Gerald Newmark, founder of the Children’s Project, “[It is vital] to create a positive atmosphere in which family members interact with each other in ways that make everyone feel respected, important, accepted, and secure.” In doing so, “we can become a powerful force for developing emotionally healthy children and families.” This website has some fabulous free downloads you can use today.

Tips and Strategies For Your Family

Model Coping Skills. Children learn by observing you. Research shows this begins in the prenatal period, when developing babies sense maternal stress. When your anxiety levels get high, don’t just muddle on. Take time out. Do something just for you. This kind of self-awareness models emotional health and shows children how to cope with stress.

Solve Problems Together. Whether it’s kids who don’t want to get out of bed for school or an epic struggle around chores, open communication is the best way to reduce tension. Talk with your kids about what’s important to your family and why. Invite them to offer solutions.

Listen to Your Kids. Too often adults view kids’ problems as insignificant or silly. But our children see themselves as real people with real problems. Ask them about their challenges and concerns. When children feel heard, they feel validated and that builds trust between them and you.

Express Gratitude. Acknowledge the good things in your life; this steers focus away from negative events and gives new perspective to tough situations. Keep a family journal, or during mealtime have each person express what she or he is grateful for that day.

Honor a Child’s Spirit. Children can experience profound moments that shape their lives in enduring ways. It can be a moment of wonder (seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time) or an awareness of their own inner wisdom (an ‘a-ha’ moment). It can be moments in which children ask big questions about life. Set aside time to discover and discuss these experiences. They can become cornerstones in a child’s evolving sense of themselves and an awareness of something greater than the material world.

If you need help, ask.  At our office we offer testing that can take the guesswork out of possible imbalances in your child’s behavior, emotional state, focus and mood. We can determine if your child’s brain chemistry is out of balance, if there are nutrients or amino acids missing in their diet. We test the child’s urine to determine their neurotransmitter levels, and then compile a treatment plan unique to their chemistry.

Remember, take the assessment and find out what your Emotional Intelligence/Quotient and other personality traits. Self awareness is a benchmark of emotional intelligence, so the more aware one is, the more empathy, self acceptance one can have and both positively enhance our relationships.. The results can be astounding and life changing – in a good way!