5 keys to develop the emotional intelligence of children


In the 1990s, two psychologists us academics, John (Jack) Mayer and Peter Salovey, are working on a revolutionary concept : emotional intelligence (EI), this ” ability to perceive emotion, to integrate it to facilitate thought ; to understand emotions and to control them in order to support personal development “. Popularized by the american psychologist Daniel Goleman1, it is now a staple in the world of personal development, the office and even school.

“There is no intelligence without emotional intelligence, ensures Philippe Grimbert. We often think that the emotion is blind and distorts our perception of reality. However, when one recognizes, when it is taken into consideration, it helps to understand each other better and to better understand the other. Therefore, to better react. “Necessary to the relationship that one has with oneself first, but also one that is woven with his entourage,” it allows you to avoid the visceral reactions, defensive. This invites you to think, to make sense of things. Because what we do not recognize in itself, it is projected on the other, in a form of psychic economy “. The gaze that one focuses on oneself, on the other, on the world that surrounds us becomes more just. Respect, listening, curiosity… “This is the way that one opens, that one is enriched,” continues the analyst. The interest for the art, for example, is primarily emotional. “It is therefore a key capability for a successful life. “A child who is never bored and can fall into hyperactivity. The one who does not feel jealousy may run out of momentum, of desire. The lack of a sense of shame can lead to a form of perversity. “Conclusion : without emotion, point of salvation. Except… ” If everyone experiences emotions, everyone has not developed his emotional intelligence. It is the area of the acquis. Hence the fundamental role of parents, ” notes Philippe Grimbert.

Welcome their states of mind

Unfortunately, our first impulse is often to stop net the expression of what is socially considered as negative. All the more when, in the mirror, the emotions of the child are bringing to light ours. We are many to minimize the situation (” this is nothing “), deny it (” do not be afraid “), a bit of fun (” at your age, all the same… “) or to moralize (” you should be ashamed, jealousy is an ugly default “). For Philippe Grimbert, we have it all wrong : “with These words, but also our eyes, our posture, tone of voice, say exactly the opposite of what the child is experiencing. This creates confusion in him and so could not soothe. “Let us avoid being judgemental and look for any of suite of solutions – mainly for it to stop doing the head…

Let’s show hindsight and empathy

It is better, in a first step, take a step back, keeping in mind that when the child cries or screams, it is his sadness and his anger that it is not ours : if the birthday of Max is the least of our worries, for he who is not invited, he goes for his life ! Philippe Grimbert is advised to show empathy by asking – what is it like there and why ? – and trying to get away from the rules of propriety and good conduct : “He will learn in other circumstances, in the course of his experiments. “Let us take seriously his problem and show him that we understand, we hear of sadness or anger. “It is thus that he himself may consider them as natural and useful. And not inappropriate and bad. “

Let’s name the emotion

“The child does not have the words to explain the crosses, he often did not even the explanation of what upsets him,” continues the analyst. Where physical manifestations eloquent to say the unsayable. “It is then up to the parent to take the word, very simply :” I see that you are very sad. “Identify and name the emotion allows you to reintroduce the language and the social. This makes sense, so calm down. It is also the best way to introduce the child to the learning of the emotional grammar. And there is no age to start. “Even before the child learns to speak ! Without being simplistic as we tend to do, but by sending true words, fair, honest. You should not hesitate not to name the emotions of others, our own goods of course, but also those of other children, including siblings, a high place emotionally. “This is the way that each person learns to recognize and deal with what upsets us all.

Explain what happens to him

Try to describe to him what he was feeling with simple words, adapted to their age and maturity, so that he can put this experience to good use.

– Anger : ” This is an emotion is normal and necessary that one feels in front of an injustice or an assault. When it is a anger and for good reason, it allows you to evacuate what you feel. “

– Boredom : ” You feel empty and without envy even if you’re surrounded. But boredom is not the enemy, it allows you to learn to take care of you and make work your imagination. “

– The disappointment : ” How not to be disappointed when we expect something that does not happen ? It proves that you have desires, and hopes, even when life is not going always in the direction that you want. “

– Impatience : ” It shows that you have the appetite for life ! But for fun, it is also the expectation of the pleasure. “

– Shame : ” It is like a signal, a guide to savoir vivre that prevents you to do something evil or dirty, which you’d have to reject the other. “

– Sadness : ” It is normal for you to be sad in front of some painful situations. But it can give you want to make a drawing, write poetry, sing. It can make you feel artist. “

– Jealousy : ” jealousy is natural, it just shows that you need to be loved, like all of us ! It makes you want to make efforts to obtain the same thing as your boyfriend. “

– Fear : ” fear is a reaction of your mind and your body that you feel in the face of danger. She protects you. It can also give you the strength you need to face the danger. “

Help to cope with what upsets him

Finally, to help to cross this episode heated, it is necessary to continue the conversation. “Talking as a family can solve many problems, note Philippe Grimbert. Invite the child to say what he feels, what he thinks, what he feels in his body. We can also talk about our fears or our anger of the past, when we were his age. “But what to do when the emotions are too strong or too frequent, when the dark child in anguish (too scared), resentment (too angry) or depressed (too sad) ? “Again, commit the dialog. Ask questions, offer explanations, reflect on what happened in his life, a move, a death… And if the emotional outbursts continue, it is important not to hesitate to call a therapist, who will help the child to express what is too painful. “

1. Daniel Goleman, author of emotional Intelligence (I’ve read).

To go further

==> Grow the emotional intelligence of children

Listen, accept and validate the emotions of his children to help them to build up, this is one of the fundamentals of positive parenting, represented in France by the psychotherapist Isabelle Filliozat. Explanations and advice.

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