Emotional intelligence means one’s ability to recognize emotions and manage them well so as to make better decisions. Emotional intelligence in children is just as important, firstly for their welfare and then for others around them. You want your child to be good at identifying their own emotions as well as that of others so they can work towards greater good.
There are some activities that you must try with your child at an early age (5 years) so as to stimulate their emotional development:
Emotional sorting means just that, sorting out different emotions. This is done to see whether your child is good at identifying and understanding what the basic emotions are. They must know that being excited is part of happiness while being hurt is a part of sadness.
You can play categorizing of emotions with them by writing down basic emotions on stick notes and then cutting out some more emotions that can fall in those categories. Talk to your child and teach them why a particular emotion falls under a particular category. But be ready for questions too.
Name your feeling:
This is the best activity for developing emotional intelligence in kids since it helps children in understand their own emotions. This can be played anywhere. After dinner, ask your child to share their own emotion by saying, “I wonder if you’re feeling..” and letting them finish the sentence. Use the same way to ask them their feelings after a movie or after they are hurt.
While you are reading out a story to them, try asking them about which emotion the character is going through. Reading can help in teaching empathy way more than any other activity.
Even while watching movies, you can ask your child whether they can identify a person’s emotions by their body language.
Some other things to try out for helping your child understand emotions easily:
- Watch “Inside out” with your child since that is the one movie which explains emotions quite amazingly to kids while entertaining them. Discuss the movie with them and help them understand why emotions, both happy and sad are equally important.
- Find picture books that deal with emotional intelligence and are meant for young readers. Children find these picture books attractive and would learn how to identify emotions much better.
- Use emotion cards meant for autistic kids since it can also help young children understand emotions better. One card would have an emotion and the other would ask you to write down things or say things like, “Tell about the time you said something and made someone like this” or “Tell about the time someone said something and made you feel like this.”