How to teach our children emotional intelligence

As a parent, you will not be able to encourage emotional intelligence in your children without first understanding it in detail, and your role as a guide. That is why I want us to go deeper into what makes up emotional intelligence. Besides, we should also know what kind of behavior is appropriate for this task.

What are the components of emotional intelligence?

Talking about emotional intelligence without looking into the work of Daniel Goleman would be a mistake, thus it is necessary to understand his work. According to Goleman, emotional intelligence can be understood as a type that goes beyond the rational or logical.

It is composed of five principles that work together to help us resolve conflicts. These components or principles are:

Emotional Self-Awareness

Emotional self-awareness refers to the ability to understand one’s own emotions and moods. It consists of an intellectual process in which we can relate what we feel to what we express and what others experience.

It is through it that we can analyze how our actions affect others and understand that the emotions you feel can change the world around you.

Emotional Self-Regulation

Emotional self-regulation is the ability to control impulses and emotions with assertiveness. Self-regulation is what prevents us getting carried away by our primary instincts, controlling them instead. A person lacking emotional self-regulation will tend to cause conflicts and altercations in their environment because they do not know how to control themselves.

Lack of control over emotions is dangerous because it will create a bad self-image. On the other hand, those who do have this kind of self-regulation are able to adapt to their environment and do not let emotions overflow. Thinking before speaking is a good way to summarize emotional self-regulation.


The third component of emotional intelligence is motivation, which is a psychological process composed of our ability to direct our emotional states towards a specific goal. This has to be in a positive and energetic way, as it will help to face setbacks with vigor.

Motivation helps us stay on track in our lives, to be persistent, and avoid distractions. When there is no motivation, you will notice that fatigue and boredom will set in. So will sadness and negativity.


Empathy is a very valuable quality in the world we live in. I think this because of how blind we can sometimes be to the feelings of others, and how distant we feel from our neighbor, when it should be the opposite.

Empathy contributes to emotional intelligence as the ability to put ourselves in the place of others, allowing us to interpret others’ feelings and live their emotions.

Using it, we can be more open-minded and we can also be of more help in complicated moments when we do not know how to act.

Social Skills

The last of the elements are social skills, which are a series of abilities that allow us to relate better to the surrounding individuals. They are recognized as being key to professional and personal development.

Without social skills, we would not be able to communicate effectively, nor know the needs of our environment. That is what we are made for, to live in community and togetherness, just as God teaches us through His word. The problem is that those who lack highly developed social skills feel nervous when interacting with others, for example.

Here, we come back to the issue of the importance for children. They are constantly being pushed to socialize in their schools from a very young age. And a child who finds it difficult to work in a team will have a more difficult time adapting in the educational system.

The first school to teach emotional intelligence is at home

Do you want your children to have high emotional intelligence? My main advice is that everything starts at home. It is not the first time I have said it, but this is the reality that I need to emphasize again and again. Children are the reflection of their parents. Therefore, it is necessary for them to see how emotional intelligence works at home.

God has placed the greatest task of creation in the hands of mothers and fathers, that of conceiving life, and guiding it along the right path. To give immeasurable love, as He Himself gives us in his infinite mercy as our creator.

So have you evaluated whether you are a good example of emotional intelligence for your children? If the answer is negative after analyzing yourself, you must understand that parents who are not emotionally intelligent will not be able to teach their children to practice it. You can’t give what you don’t have, it’s as simple as that.

You must also internalize that the emotional dynamic that parents experience is the same that their children experience. Children will handle their emotions the same way their parents do. You are the mirror in which your child will reflect, so it is a team effort. It is work that not only depends on the little ones, but also on the adults in the house.

What kind of parent are you?

The relationship between parents and children is a beautiful bond. It must be strengthened and enriched day by day. However, we agree that it will not be easy to keep it stable all the time due to its complexity. It is true especially during the development stage, a fundamental stage to solidify this sacred bond. The path of emotional growth is full of responsibility and requires constant self-education.

One of the ways to do this is to identify the type of parent you are. For this task, the American psychologist and clinician John Gottman has classified parents according to several types:

  • Careless parents. They are the type of parents who belittle and ridicule their children’s negative emotions.
  • Punishing parents. They are the ones who impose punishments and reprimand their children. They abound in negative feelings.
  • Parents who do not set limits. These parents are in a middle. Although they accept the child’s negative emotions, they are not able to set limits on their behaviors.
  • “Emotional Coach” Parents. This is the ideal. These parents identify their children’s feelings and encourage them to talk about it and try to find a solution together.

You yourself have the power to be your child’s emotional coach. But for that, you must have skills such as:

  • knowing how to identify the child’s emotions,
  • taking advantage of opportunities to teach them,
  • listening to them with empathy and
  • validating their feelings.

It is also necessary teaching them to define them. As well as establishing limits to negative feelings and giving them accessible solutions.

Why Emotional Intelligence is important for children?

I have lost count of the number of parents who have called me concerned about their children’s erratic behavior. For that reason, we will see what is Emotional Intelligence and how important is it for our children?

From little ones who are aggressive with their schoolmates, to withdraw children who have a hard time relating to others. As their parent, you will feel it is your responsibility to help them overcome these issues, so you may be looking for reasons to blame them or punishments to correct them.

Even so, have you ever wondered if your child is capable of handling their own emotions? The complexity of human relationships begins very early in life, therefore, a lack of emotional intelligence will result in the inability to control or manage their emotions.

Emotional intelligence is as important as other types of intelligence because it helps you know yourself and others as you grow up. By encouraging it in children, their learning will improve, they will be able to resolve conflicts more easily, and it will encourage better personal and social well-being.

If you feel that you invest a lot of effort into making your child do their homework, get good grades, or behave the way you want them to, keep in mind that proper development is not only focused on academic intelligence. It’s time for me to teach you what emotional intelligence is. Let’s start.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is a set of skills for the correct management of emotions, for example, motivation, empathy, enthusiasm, and self-control. These skills can be acquired from birth or learned throughout life. That is why both adults and children are able to develop them.

This concept was first used by the American psychologists Peter Salovey & John Mayer in 1990. Later, it became the title of a book by author Daniel Goleman.

Unlike what you may believe, emotional intelligence does not having no emotional reaction to stimuli. On the contrary, it is about the reactions you have to them. You may be surprised by this, but the reactions provoked by emotions are many times greater than the emotion itself.

That is why an emotionally intelligent person will have the following characteristics:

  • They have a deep knowledge of their emotions: Those who develop emotional intelligence can analyze their emotions and interpret them. They just don’t just feel them.
  • These people do not repress their feelings: They show sincerity and authenticity regarding their feelings. Besides, they can also express their feelings clearly.
  • They show a balance in their emotions: It’s all about balance, and how they are able to identify the bad and the good. They are always looking for helpful solutions.

Considering all the above, it is logical to want our children to have this kind of intelligence. However, first it is fundamental that, as parents, we are able to educate ourselves and follow the path that has been established by our God.

What are emotions?

In a technical way, emotions are physiological reactions that we have to adapt to the environment we are in. In other words, our brain has the great capacity to modify our cognition to use behaviors that allow us to survive depending on the situation. Basically, emotions are adaptive functions.

At the same time, this function has physiological components (an involuntary reaction, such as accelerated breathing), cognitive components (a subjective experience), and behavioral components (the change of behavior, such as movements or facial gestures).

According to Paul Ekman, there are six basic or primary emotions:

  1. Fear: Associated with nervousness, restlessness, and anxiety.
  2. Anger: Associated with hostility, indignation, and rage.
  3. Joy: Associated with pleasure, amusement, and ecstasy.
  4. Surprise: Associated with discovery, expectation, and dynamism.
  5. Disgust: Associated with disgust or rejection.
  6. Sadness: Associated with isolation or decreased energy.

Why is emotional intelligence important?

If your child is, for example, not good at math, but instead of asking for your help, he or she screams and gets frustrated easily, you will understand the importance of emotional intelligence. Children who have it are able to solve problems by managing their emotions wisely.

But giving it to your children, it is not really something you can measure. There are no tests such as the intelligence quotient (IQ) to know if they have it. But vitality of emotional intelligence in child development is remarkable. A child who is emotionally intelligent will be able to respond well to the surrounding environment. Likewise, he/she will be able to establish better relationships with other children and adults.

I feel that encouraging emotional intelligence is ideal, especially for children who have difficulty concentrating or learning. With emotional intelligence, they will be able to improve their learning skills, and develop in this way.

As a parent, you need to put yourself in your child’s position at every difficult moment. So just imagine that you have learning and attention difficulties, you can’t solve tasks that are easy for your other classmates. Children with these kinds of complications often feel embarrassed and intimidated by learning. But by stimulating their emotional intelligence, you can prepare them for new challenges.

You should also consider the fact that having problems with emotional intelligence could be a sign that the child will have learning or attention difficulties in the future. This is why children with ADHD tend to develop their social skills later and have difficulty interpreting situations accurately.

If your child fits this description, or you identify with what I have said here, do not feel like there is no solution. It is quite the opposite, actually. Emotional intelligence can be modified for each child.