This is a reality check as your child/children/grandchildren go back to school. Once you complete the exhale that they have gotten on the bus, or into Bar-T, or through the door of preschool without too many tears, what is it that you most hope for your child this school year? I know well the pressure that parents and children face in this area – the pressure not just to get through school and not just to succeed, but to excel, and excel in everything. But seriously, what do you hope for your young ones?
One of the areas that gets short shrift in our schools is giving kids the tools they need to need to be emotionally intelligent. Virtually no-one is hard wired to be emotionally intelligent, and virtually none of us are emotionally intelligent all the time. It takes instruction and practice, but like all the stuff we have talked about here, it is pretty simple but it’s not easy.
Emotional intelligence is at the base of the mindfulness exercises from earlier in the summer. It is, among other things, the ability to recognize when something has knocked us out of a feeling of wellbeing, the ability to name what we are feeling, and to own it without necessarily trying to fix it…because often we can’t. Often, we just have to sit with the sadness or frustration or anger, knowing that it will not last forever.
Here is a link to a Ted Talk about raising emotionally intelligent kids, I encourage you to read it and to scroll down and watch the talk,
I know that high on your list of dreams for your young ones this year is just plain being happy with who they are, whose they are and where God has planted them. I think helping them to grow their emotional intelligence can help them (and you) do that.
Simple things, done with great love.
Director of Children and Young Families