A neuropsychologist recommends that parents avoid using these three expressions when communicating with their children
Parenting ranks among the most demanding yet fulfilling roles in the world. It’s a role that necessitates continuous learning and adaptability. One crucial aspect of this journey is becoming emotionally intelligent parents.
Emotional intelligence involves the capacity to comprehend and manage both our own emotions and the emotions of others. This skill is of paramount importance for parents as it enables them to build strong bonds with their children and aid in their development into emotionally well-adjusted adults.
Emotionally intelligent parents exhibit several distinctive behaviors:
1. They prioritize grasping their children’s perspectives. They make an effort to view situations from their children’s standpoint and empathize with their emotions.
2. Emotionally intelligent parents remain mindful of their own emotions. They acknowledge that their emotional state can impact their children’s feelings, prompting them to handle their anger, frustration, and other negative emotions in a constructive manner.
3. They employ “I” statements when communicating with their children. This approach assists children in comprehending how their actions affect their parents emotionally.
For instance, instead of saying, “You’re being so disrespectful!” a parent might express, “I’m feeling hurt by what you just said. Can we discuss it?”
Fifteen years ago, neuroscientists unveiled a critical brain region responsible for emotional intelligence—the prefrontal cortex. This region governs higher-order cognitive functions such as planning, problem-solving, decision-making, and emotional regulation. Research reveals that the prefrontal cortex continues to develop throughout childhood and adolescence, underscoring that it’s never too late to instill emotional intelligence skills in our children.
Three Phrases Avoided by Parents Raising Emotionally Intelligent Kids:
1. “Why can’t you be more motivated?”
Parents fostering emotional intelligence in their children avoid labeling them as “lazy” or “unmotivated.” Instead, they seek to comprehend the underlying reasons for their behavior. For example, if a child spends excessive time playing video games at the expense of homework, it might be due to boredom, feeling overwhelmed, or encountering challenges in a specific subject. Rather than asking, “Why can’t you be more motivated to study?” parents could inquire, “What do you find enjoyable about video games?” or “How can I assist you with your homework?”
2. “Why don’t you listen to me?”
Parents of emotionally intelligent children don’t take it personally when their kids occasionally fail to listen. They recognize that children are still learning effective communication and emotional regulation. Rather than demanding their children’s obedience, they aim to establish a dialogue that fosters mutual respect and understanding. They may say, “I’m trying to understand your perspective. Can you help me?” or “Effective communication is important to me. Can we try again?”
3. “You are being so disrespectful!”
Parents raising emotionally intelligent children understand that children may sometimes display disrespectful behavior. However, they refrain from making hasty judgments. Instead, they seek to comprehend the underlying causes behind their children’s actions and offer support. For instance, if a child responds with irritation, parents might refrain from shouting, “You’re being so disrespectful!” and opt for, “What’s troubling you? Are you feeling alright?” or “Your words have hurt me. Can we discuss it?”