How to improve children’s emotional education, in 15 keys

Emotional intelligence is a big oversight in our education system. But, as parents, we also do not pay due attention to the proper development of the emotional aspect of our children.

To be able to get off to a good start in this profession of making them discover and enhance their emotions, I took the liberty of writing this practical guide.

1. A shared obligation

Parents, teachers, those who are two things at the same time and all adults without exception are responsible for ensuring that children receive the emotional education they deserve, so that they can acquire good emotional intelligence and a balanced personality. But, of course, the adult who is steeped in misconceptions on this issue, will not be able to provide adequate education and may – unintentionally – contribute a negative influence to the good end he wanted.

2. There are no negative emotions

Initially, it is essential to be clear that the discrimination between negative and positive emotions is incorrect. All emotions have a utility for the individual survival of the child. What we have to teach the child is that when faced with an emotion there are positive reactions and concrete behaviors which are negative for society and can lead to problems.

3. Emotional maturity in stages

Another fundamental concept is that the emotional maturity of the child grows in successive stages, from birth to adulthood, as he becomes master of his brain functions. The treatment of their emotions must therefore be appropriate at each stage of their development or one runs the risk of harming – unintentionally or – at the very least – of wasting inappropriate efforts.

Up to six months, the child obeys only sensory and motor stimuli (on an instinctive basis) and ignores his emotions. From this age, you can start to differentiate your basic emotions with the help of adults. Until about the age of three, he is not able to change his behavior in a stable way based on emotions (intuitive ability). And until he enters the operational phase, around the age of six, he cannot apply “the use of reason” to his behaviors and learn to work in a team. From this age he learns to identify and name the basic emotions he feels and can reflect on them and subject them to self-control. But good management of emotions and derived feelings will not be able to achieve it until the age of ten or eleven. And the maturity of knowing how to anticipate the consequences of their actions and the ability to plan for the future does not usually come until the age of sixteen: the age of the emotional age.

4. Love is not enough

A very common mistake is to think that if we give children love and protection, the outcome of their emotional intelligence will necessarily be good.. Love and protection are, of course, essential. But it’s not enough. They must be accompanied by a balanced emotional education. If parents overprotect against excessive permissiveness, or are bossy and too harsh, or are uncontrollable and unpredictable, emotional damage can seriously affect the personality of the future adult, despite the love received.

5. How do you know if a child is having emotional problems?

Diagnosing that a child has problems in his emotional upbringing is very easy. A healthy child is restless, impatient, loud, spontaneous, playful, curious, creative, social, confident with peers and adults … Any absence of any of these characteristics should be analyzed as it can be a warning possible emotional problems. We need to detect in which basic emotions the child is feeling overwhelmed and offer timely support.

6. How to deal with your fears

Let’s start with fear. A child has many possible causes of fear: being left alone, being abandoned, being a nuisance, being rejected, not being able to feed himself, in the dark, in the cold, in the heat, in the bad weather of nature, to fall sick, strangers, authoritarian or hostile people, having the fault that the father and the mother support … The solution is to give him the security he needs.

Physical security against disease, hunger and all kinds of physical dangers. And emotional security. Parents are advised to repeat to him as many times as necessary before he is born, love him as he is and always will. If the child misbehaves, we will tell him that we do not like what he does, but that he is loved without any doubt or objection. As the extraordinary educational psychologist Rebeca Wild says: “If the child feels good, he does not behave badly”.

7. How to deal with your complaints

We continue with anger. A child immersed in a rebequeria can display spectacular energy. The causes of the rebellion can also be multiple: they refused a wish or a whim, they took a toy, they scolded it “unfairly”, they ignore it or listen to it, they beat it or humiliated it. . and couldn’t defend himself … The support the child needs here is to understand.

Show him squarely that we understand the cause of his rebellion but that he must learn to control it; teach him to be less selfish and to know how to share his possessions; that we have to get used to enduring certain frustrations in life; that we must look for new motivations and new expectations and not give up; that we must defend ourselves against injustices with calm and serenity; that the dangers must be avoided in a preventive manner …

8. How to deal with your grief

Another basic emotion is sadness. For losing a toy, favorite object, pet or loved one; so as not to be able to be with friends; so as not to have the same things as the children around him; for losing father and mother … Good support is comfort. Empathize with your loss, support your pain, offer help with your loss, support yourself with distractions such as games and new motivations.

9. The power of games

Play is an instinctive activity in children and therefore should be the preferred distraction from the bad tendencies of the child. All educators and psychologists agree on the physical, physiological, emotional, social and cognitive benefits of team play.

10. How to deal with your embarrassment

One of the worst possible consequences emotions is shame. Too bad to be too big or too small; be fat or thin; to be different; have physical problems or disabilities; so as not to understand what they are talking about; for not knowing how to express oneself; for doing something wrong; for having suffered physical or sexual abuse … The best help to overcome shame is to boost your self-esteem.

Repeat as many times as necessary so that each person is unique and worth as much as the most. Teach him to improve his problems or flaws without stressing him. Help him recognize his mistakes and overcome them. Teach him to socialize and to have suitable friends. Earn their trust to get us involved in possible physical or sexual abuse.

11. Loss of self-esteem

It is necessary to avoid by all means that the child falls in loss of self-esteem. Because it implies that the child internalizes that he is useless and useless; that he does not deserve to be loved; that it is natural to be ignored or despised; which makes sense to laugh at him and humiliate him.

Due to the lack of self-esteem in childhood and adolescence, in adulthood we will have people with behavioral disorders. If there has been a passive type reaction, the adult will present with severe emotional dependencies; fear of maintaining intimate relationships; fear of speaking in public and being noticed; pathological insecurity; an inferiority complex. If there was a reaction aggressive, the adult will show strong tendencies towards tyranny, despotism, cruelty, egocentric narcissism, and exaggerated armor of false security.

12. Basic recommendations

It is worth paying attention to a number of recommendations:

  • We must pay attention to the age of the child and not evoke situations for which he does not have the necessary emotional maturity.
  • You have to try to put yourself in the child’s shoes and understand their reasons and motivations. Ask and listen to it.
  • It is useless to try to make the child reason when he is immersed in an emotional abduction, it is necessary to wait for her to calm down.
  • We should never reprimand him for going through an emotion, just pointing out the negative behaviors he elicited and offering him the possible positive behaviors.
  • Abstract speeches should be avoided; Short, action-oriented sentences should be used. Without applying derogatory, demeaning or offensive adjectives to their behavior.
  • Lead by example. Have no problem showing your own emotions, emphasizing how they are under control.
  • It is necessary to recognize one’s own mistakes and show what is being done to correct them.
  • In adults, conversations on topics inappropriate for children should be avoided in front of them.
  • Never lie, under any circumstances. Keep them the part of the facts that they cannot understand, but do not alter the truth with lies.
  • Never allow the child to be ridiculed, humiliated, looked down upon or abused by any person or animal.
  • Never apply any form of violence (neither physical nor verbal) or emotional blackmail.
  • Not wanting to buy their affection or their indulgence with our weaknesses through material things.
  • We must respond to the need to set limits and train the child to endure frustrations for social or economic reasons.
  • For mental hygiene, we must prevent the child from falling into addiction to tablet or PlayStation solitary games.
  • Motivation with rewards and inhibition with punishments must be properly administered.
  • Rewards and punishments must be proportionate, fair and consistent. They must be exceptional but stable. Rewards must be affordable and punishments avoidable.
  • The awards are to celebrate the triumph of an earlier effort. Punishments must involve actual boredom or effort.
  • It is essential to warn before punishing and to explain the reasons for the punishments.
  • We need to encourage their curiosity and encourage their creativity. Don’t block your initiative with default recipes for how to do things.
  • We need to be receptive to the things in life that we can learn from observing and interacting with children.
  • Demonstrate them whenever you want in a permanent and indestructible way.

13. Emotional injuries

It has been shown that caregivers who apply severe punishments with coldness and authoritarianismWithout affection for children, they can lead to personality disorders in future adults: fanaticism for order, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, pathological insecurities, unhealthy perfectionisms.

As Canadian writer Lise Bourbeau warns us, the five major emotional wounds that often mark a child’s future are: rejection, abandonment, humiliation, betrayal and injustice. The main motivation for some parents to try to avoid these five emotional wounds for their children by any means possible may be the memory of having suffered them as a child.

14. Against the feeling of abandonment

The child can endure long absences from his parents if he has compelling evidence that they love him, and his caregivers frequently revive his memory and hope for a reunion. Emotional security is more about intensity than frequency.

15. We have all been children

To facilitate the understanding of the emotions and behaviors of the child, it should be remembered that we were also children and the child we survived within us. We must recover so that we are good friends of our children. With love, poise, protection, understanding, trust, consolation, appropriate reward and punishment systems and, in particular, by cultivating their self-esteem, we will bring our children, our grandsons. children, children in all of our society to achieve the emotional intelligence they deserve.

Bibliographical references:

  • Borbeau, Lise. The five wounds that keep you from being yourself. OB Stare, 2003.
  • López Cassà, E. Emotional education. Program from 3 to 6 years. Wolfers Kluwer, 2003.
  • Rename, A. Emotional education. Program for primary education (6 – 12 years). Wolfers Kluwer, 2003.
  • Savage, Rebecca. Freedom and limits. Love and respect. Herder, 2012.

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