Anda di halaman 1dari 7

1

Allison Chappell
Professor Eric Robertson
English 2010
16 April 2016
Emotional Intelligence in Parenting for a Childs Well-Being
The ability of a human being to manage his or her emotions in a healthy way will
determine the quality of his life in a much more fundamental way than his IQ
--Dr. Laura Markham
The topic of Emotional intelligence is an oft-neglected or even diminished area of focus
when it comes to raising children. There is so much more that goes in to rearing a child than
what they would learn from a book or in school otherwise. Emotional intelligence taught in early
childhood can help children navigate the emotional ups and downs of growing up into productive
and well-rounded adults by teaching them how to self-regulate their actions and emotions. There
are several studies that each theorize on the importance of emotional intelligence in children and
parenting.
True measures of success lie in more than just how a child performs in school or
otherwise academically. While it is obviously a positive sign when a child does well
academically in school, there are other key indicators that need just as much attention for
children. Patricia DeProspero Rogers, a senior lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School
of Nursing, published an article about this topic for the National Association of College
Admissions Counselors Journal titled Beyond Grades and Scores: Expanding the Role of
Emotional intelligence. Attributes like self-awareness, perseverance and emotional stability
were more accurate predictors of success than other variables, such as IQ and academic

achievement (DeProspero Rogers 8). According to DeProspero Rogers, raising children is


really about much more than the academic achievement, but the child as a whole. Parenting with
a focus on increasing a childs emotional intelligence quotient is more accurate in predicting how
they will grow into successful and well-rounded adults. In addition to this, there are others who
feel it is important to focus on the emotional growth of children.
There is a need for focus on a childs emotional development to help them control big
emotions such as anger in order to help prevent some of those anger-driven actions such as
bullying and violence. Syeda Shahida Batool, of the Department of Psychology at GC University
in Pakistan, describes the relationship between parents emotional intelligence and adolescents
aggression in her article Mediational role of parenting styles in emotional intelligence of parents
and aggression among adolescents published in the International Journal of Psychology.
Anger control is obvious among children of emotionally intelligent parents, and emotionally
intelligent parents affect childrens emotional growth in beneficial ways (Batool, Bond 240). In
their writing, Batool describes the effects of emotional intelligence in helping children grow by
explaining how children of emotionally intelligent parents are better able to control their anger. It
becomes apparent to those that come into contact with a child that has an inability to control
anger that there may be a lack of support in the emotional intelligence area at home and even in a
school setting. Children arent born angry, but they come into the world like a clean palate ready
to take on and learn what is dealt their way. There are others who feel it is important that children
have positive guidance to assist them in learning how to deal with and regulate their emotions in
a healthy way.
There are several ways in which a parents and caregivers can provide positive examples
of emotional intelligence in parenting. Alberto Allegre writes about the different ways a parent

can provide positive responsiveness in his article Parenting Styles and Childrens Emotional
Intelligence: What do We Know? published in the Family Journal. Positive responsiveness
includes parental practices such as monitoring and supervision, behavioral control, autonomy
granting, appropriate maturity demands and expectations, and inductive discipline (Alegre 57).
Parenting is a challenge and one often wrestles with ideas of how to best parent a child without
messing them up and wondering: am I doing this right? The decisions made at a young age in
how to address these issues can have long-lasting effects, and children benefit most from positive
responsiveness. The idea behind that concept is that the parent provides just the right amount of
controlled authority without being a completely authoritative. Children benefit from positive
reinforcement, and responsible limits and expectations so they feel confident and secure. The
responsibility flows from the childs home but also to the childs school or other learning
environments.
There is a common saying that it takes a village, and that is an accurate reflection when it
comes to rearing children. In an article titled Early Childhood Teachers as Socializers of Young
Childrens Emotional Competence and published in the Early Childhood Education Journal,
Susanne Denham explores the importance of both teachers and parents in the development of
emotional intelligence for children. Both parents and teachers loom large as socializers of
preschoolers emotional competence, providing experiences that promote or deter its
development (Denham et al 137). Emotional intelligence is a vital part of growing up.
Beginning in preschool, parents and educators alike have a huge influence over how these
children will develop and how they will view themselves and their role in society. The
experiences that they provide during this time can either serve to help children grow or can hold
them back from realizing their potential.

I have my own struggles with parenting and how to be the best I can be while juggling
my other responsibilities. Its daunting to think about. When one starts to think about ones own
experiences growing up and interacting with other children and even with their parents it
becomes apparent exactly what I mean by the importance of emotional intelligence. One recalls
the schoolyard bully that seemed so angry for no apparent reason, and perhaps even met and
interacted with their parents. There are others such as the child that sits alone day after day at
lunch or recess, or even breaks down into tears over seemingly innocuous incidents. I believe
there is no greater responsibility as a parent than raising children with strong emotional
intelligence to navigate the difficult waters of growing up and becoming functional adults.
I tell this story in order to emphasize the importance of emotional intelligence training to
help people learn how to deal with their emotions and effectively communicate with the outside
world in an emotionally intelligent way. One of the most compelling moments I can think of
regarding the importance of emotional intelligence happened in 2007. This year was a year of
transition and upheaval for me and my daughters. I was divorced from my childrens father the
year before after a year-long separation and had finally begun dating someone to whom I would
be engaged within that year. This man had a son from a previous marriage and I had my three
daughters. We were faced with the daunting task of blending together two families while
minimizing any potential for damage.
I came to the realization that there are going to be clashes in parenting styles and child
behavior. We needed a solution that would work universally. I was raised in a household that was
primarily a matriarchy and there was a lot of yelling and not a whole lot of listening. He was
raised in a house with a nurturing Iranian mother and an authoritative American father. His son
lived primarily with his mother and I had my girls full time with very little involvement from

their father. Needless to say, there was some real inconsistency with our expectations and reality
and we needed help.
My search for a solution came to an end when I heard about a short few week course that
would be held at our local elementary school called Parenting with Love and Logic. I had read
some reviews online and people had just raved about it, so I immediately signed up. YES! I
thought. This will be perfect for our newly blended family. This program is at its core focused on
the benefits of emotional intelligence in parenting, and in teaching children in return. The love
factor means we set and enforce limits with sincere compassion and empathy. The logic
happens when we allow children to make decision, make affordable mistakes, and experience the
natural or logical consequences. The program is essentially The quality of my life depends on
the quality of my choices.
I got registered and started attending the courses with excitement and hope for the future,
but my then new husband resisted participation. Regardless, I continued on with my certification
and began to implement the suggested techniques at home in dealing with the children. Its
unfortunate when both parents are not on board with the same idea. It can lead to some conflict. I
felt that the progress I was making with them was positive and they appreciated the more
empathetic route as opposed to the more authoritarian methods employed before. Ultimately,
after a few months of working with this new method and dealing with the resistance from my
husband on participating, this led to some irreconcilable differences and the end of the marriage.
When one deals with someone who is comes from a place of a higher emotional intelligence,
namely empathy, it becomes difficult to interact and reason with someone who does not come
from that place.

In addition to the Love and Logic training and books that I have certified in and devoured
on this very subject, I came across a wonderful book Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by
acclaimed psychologist and researcher John M. Gottman, PhD that goes into great detail on
emotion coaching of children to become emotionally healthy adults. In his book, Gottman writes
When parents offer their children empathy and help them to cope with negative feelings like
anger, sadness, and fear, parents build bridges of loyalty and affection (Gottman 17). This book
really focuses on the importance of assisting children in mastering their emotions. If they can
master this life skill, then children can realize greater self-confidence, heightened performance in
school, improved physical health, and enriching social relationships as well.
I would be remiss if I did not include the added voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. in my
story to further establish the importance of having emotional intelligence and applying it to your
daily life. I feel it is most appropriate to add Martin Luther King Jr.s voice to this subject
because he was such an iconic leader and his use of emotionally intelligent techniques serve as
inspiration to people to this day. Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't
have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to
serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love (King). Much like my story
of emotionally intelligent parenting techniques to help children feel valued and heard, Dr. King
recognized the deep need for his listeners to feel felt and connected with his audience by
empathizing with them. Dr. King believed in reaching people through compassion and empathy
rather than through harsh words and violent actions. His incredible mastery of the English
language to persuade his audience allowed his words to be powerful and firm when necessary,
and compassionate at the same time. Approaching parenting in this manner shows the child that
their parent is fulfilling their parental duty as necessary but also allowing the child to feel the

empathy and respect along with the ability to learn from things and how to react appropriately
without fear of being dismissed or punished for it.
Dr. Kings words serve as compassionate instruction on how to truly motivate and inspire
real change through the use of empathy, as opposed to angry words or even violence. He
recognizes the need in his audience, and likewise within his community. He gave passionate
speeches and led his audiences away from the vindictiveness that could come from conflict to
instead focus on the needs of the human spirit. It is vital to the success of our society that parents
and leaders alike have the proper emotional intelligence to lead and inspire through empathy.
When empathy is present, there is less room for the kind of negativity, bullying, or even violence
that can occur without it. I believe that in order for our society to achieve any kind of peaceful
resolution to whatever conflict may arise, its important that we begin early. Emotional
intelligence coursework beginning in elementary school is a step in the right direction to improve
our daily social interactions, and raise emotionally intelligent children to become emotionally
intelligent adults.
In conclusion, I feel strongly that emotional intelligence taught in early childhood can be
nothing short of a positive and invaluable tool for children to navigate the emotional ups and
downs of growing up. Furthermore, this kind of skillset lays the groundwork for a child to
become a productive and well-rounded adult though the early emphasis on self-regulation of
their actions and emotions. Happy, well-adjusted children become happy well-adjusted adults
who in turn can spread that same influence throughout every social interaction in their future
whether it be school, work or even to their own children Every facet of a childs life is affected
by this early intervention and attention, and it proves to be nothing short of an asset in their adult
toolkit.