Creative Child

Effective Communication Skills for Emotional Intelligence

by Michelle Dempsey M.S., CPRW


Sounds just like what your child needs when they’re throwing a fit in public while simultaneously disrobing and pulling chunks of hair from your head, right?

Of course, but emotional intelligence also plays a critical role in the level of success one reaches in adulthood.

So, how do we build the emotional intelligence within our children and help them to become the future leaders they are destined to be?

1. Talk about emotions with your child.

Having a bad day? Please don’t take it out on your child. What you should do, though, is talk to your child about how you are feeling and why. How they perceive your emotions will help them to better identify their own. Also wise is to practice modeling how you deal with your emotions in a particular situations, so they can understand your thought process – for both the positive AND negative emotions.

For example, “Mommy feels so happy when sun is out because that means we can head outdoors and have fun at the park.”

2. Help your child put names to their feelings.

Recently, my daughter told the lovely bakery employer in our local supermarket that she was “very sad” (with crossed arms and a serious pout), after the woman told her that they were out of sprinkle cookies. While others around us found this a hilarious declaration of emotions from a two-year-old, it made me feel so proud. This little nugget who was now without cookie was able to properly label how she felt, because I tirelessly model this for her. She now also exclaims “AWESOME!” when she’s excited, tells me “Bella’s so happy,” when something funny happens, and even “Bella’s tummy feels happy because it had some chicken”. Helping your child put a name to how they’re feeling in a particular moment will help you continue the conversation of feelings whenever they express emotion of any kind, fostering the development of their emotional intelligence.

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3. Allowing your child to own their emotions.

Back to that whole “perception” thing. You may not find it tantrum-worthy that the wind blew in a certain direction versus another, but that doesn’t mean your child shouldn’t. When a child expresses emotion, it should be honored, regardless of how you feel. Today, my daughter threw a fit because I opened her snack bag for her. I wished in that moment she realized how ridiculous this was, as she certainly couldn’t open that Ziploc bag without me, but instead, I said, “Mommy understands that you’re sad because you wanted to open this yourself,” and to that, I got a “Yea! Go away,” followed by a cute little smirk and a “thanks for the goldfish.”

Do I have emotional intelligence down to a perfect science with my child? No, and that’s okay, but I’ve got the foundation down – and now you can, too.

A writer, entrepreneur, radio host, and powerful motivational speaker – Michelle Dempsey, owner and founder of Michelle Dempsey, Very Well-Written, has one goal in mind: empowering women from all walks of life with her incredible personal life story of overcoming adversity and using the lessons learned to achieve success. Internationally published and known for her ability to connect with readers on a deeper level, Michelle has successfully united her passion for business and writing and developed a thriving career, offering writing and editing services, business coaching, branding expertise, and content marketing to business of all kinds.

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