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  • Having Good Grades Is Not The Only Way A Child Will Excel In Life, Says Psychologist

    There are no rules in life, but those who excel in the real world know how to think outside the box.
    by Kaydee Dela Buena .
Having Good Grades Is Not The Only Way A Child Will Excel In Life, Says Psychologist
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  • According to psychologist Irish Movido, 80% of our success in life is attributed to our emotional intelligence, while IQ only takes up 20%. In a school setting, for example, Movido stresses that having good grades and even earning awards and distinctions are not an accurate predictor of whether or not you’re going to be successful in life.

    Usually, academic achievers are sticklers for rules and follow their teachers to a T, but that is not always advantageous when they become adults. "In general, life is messy," shares Movido. "There are no rules in life. Most of the time those students who excel in life (in the real world) are creative, innovative, and who know how to think outside the box.”

    5 ways to nurture your child's emotional intelligence

    During her talk at the “Smart Parenting Masterclass: Toddler Expertips” held in partnership with Nido 3+ at the Books and Borders Café last October 26, 2019, Movido explained that there are five domains of emotional intelligence  understanding one’s self, understanding others, motivating one’s self, empathy, and managing relationships  all which help to nurture healthy, happy kids.

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    Here’s how to know if you’re covering the most important aspects of EQ-building.

    You help your child sort through his or her feelings

    According to Movido, the first domain of emotional intelligence is understanding one’s self, which includes being aware of one’s emotions. Kids will often find it hard to put into words the emotions that they're feeling, leading to sudden bursts of aggressiveness or throwing tantrums in public when they feel overwhelmed. These actions may also be caused by anxiety.

    As a parent, you can address this by being gentle and understanding. Avoid dictating your child's emotions and instead allow them to open up and talk about how they are feeling. It's important to establish a safe environment where they can trust you with their thoughts. Teach kids that they cannot always choose what emotions to feel, but they have a choice of what to do with it.

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    You set boundaries on behaviors, not emotions

    Setting boundaries will help kids take control of their emotions as they experience them. Kids are impulsive by nature, and when left unchecked, they can become impulsive adults. So, it’s okay to step in if they behave inappropriately, like when they turn physical and violent to others and themselves.

    Movido suggests using the stoplight method. “The first step is to stop, so that’s the red one. Allow them to calm down for a second. The next is the yellow [light], which is thinking of solutions to a problem. So if you’re going through something, what are you going to do about it? The third is the green light, wherein the child picks the best solution.”

    “There isn’t just one solution to a problem,” underlines Movido. This exercise will also teach your child to do problem-solving. “Maiisip nila na 'pag may problem pala, there are a lot of solutions. Kasi when they grow up and they encounter something na challenging, usually if isa lang yung solution sa problem and it doesn’t work, they get depressed. They can’t cope with it kaya mataas yung cases of depression, self-harm, and suicide, because they don’t know how to manage their emotions.”

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    You recognize and praise their efforts to remain in control

    The third domain of emotional intelligence is motivating oneself. This is where you can use the motivational aspect of delayed gratification and teaching your kids impulse control. Acknowledging efforts more than the results is important in nurturing a child's emotional intelligence. Always remind your kids that perseverance and the hard work they put into achieving a goal has more weight than the achievement itself.

    You teach them empathy

    According to Movido, kids as young as two-years-old can already show signs of empathy, although they may not fully understand it. For example, when toddlers see babies cry, they also cry. For them, whatever the baby is feeling is also their own. But as they grow up, they realize that what is painful for others may not be as painful for them.

    This is why it's important to teach them about empathy. When your child talks about an event that happened to someone else in school, ask them to imagine how that person felt at the time. Learning how to relate to others through verbal or non-verbal clues helps a person be more kind, considerate, and mindful of their actions. 

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    You encourage conversation and build relationships

    The last domain is managing relationships. Movido shares, “Kung may difference man ang happy people, isa lang ang difference nila and that is they have strong social support. They know how to build relationships.”

    At home, encourage open communication with your kids so that they’re able to learn how to connect with other people, exchange ideas, and develop a sense of respect as a way of nurturing their emotional intelligence. As children are exposed to more perspectives, they become more flexible in their thinking, making them more accepting and tolerant of others and themselves.

    The formula for a child's success is not only dependent on high IQ. Click here to learn the other factors.

    This article was updated on November 23, 2019 at 11:25 p.m.

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