Creative Child

Become an Emotionally Intelligent Parent

by Rebecca Eanes

We all want to raise emotionally intelligent children because we understand how beneficial it is to their health, happiness, and success. Yet, how are we handling our own emotions? Are we steady or easily thrown? Can we control our moods and impulses? Are we mindfully aware of our emotional states and how they are affecting our children and families? Are we able to meet our children with empathy or are we quick to dismiss, judge, or react? Emotional intelligence is just as important for us as it is for our children, and learning to manage our emotions will help us be a better and more joyful parent.

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Two psychologists, John Mayer and Peter Salovey, are credited for coining the term “emotional intelligence,” but it was Daniel Goleman, a science journalist, who brought “emotional intelligence” to the forefront with his books, Emotional Intelligence, Working with Emotional Intelligence, and Social Intelligence. According to Goleman, there are 5 components of emotional intelligence which we will look at today from the perspective of a parent to see how we, ourselves, can raise our own emotional intelligence.


Self-awareness is “the ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others.” For me, learning this has been a process. I used to believe my mood was entirely created by the circumstances or environment I was in, but I’ve since learned (and am still working on applying) the fact that my mood and my emotions are a direct result of my thoughts, and learning to manage my thoughts has been a big work of parenting for me. If I went through my day letting everything my kids do “wrong” frustrate me and throw me into a sour mood, I would be giving away so much joy and, honestly, I’d be giving a lot of power to my children. Self-awareness comes through being mindful, keeping a finger on the pulse of my thoughts and feelings and adjusting as necessary.

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