When we talk about children‘s emotional intelligence development, we cannot lose sight of the fact that it is totally linked to their cognitive development and the degree of maturity that their brain, still under construction, is reaching. Thus, the understanding and expression of emotions varies depending on the cognitive abilities that children acquire over the years and the accumulated interpersonal experiences. On this occasion, we focus on helping 7-year-olds manage their emotions.
- The emotional education of 7-year-old girls and boys
- Working on emotions at home by the family
- 6 strategies that develop the emotional intelligence of your children
The emotional education of 7-year-old girls and boys
Bearing in mind the above, we must remember that at 7 years old our children enter another of those periods of important cognitive changes. In this phase of development, your vocabulary expands as does your understanding of both your inner and outer world.
At this stage, it is very important to continue our educational work by teaching 7-year-old children to manage their increasingly complex emotions, so that they achieve an optimal level of emotional intelligence, that capacity that allows us to feel, recognize, understand, control and modify our emotional state and that of others.
It is worth remembering that developing this emotional intelligence in our children will allow them to feel better about themselves, happier, more confident and motivated to learn. Although it is not the solution to all the problems that will affect them as human beings, we can say that an adequate level of emotional intelligence will allow them a better adaptation to the circumstances that life is going to put us in front of. Hence, the importance of working with 7-year-olds as well.
Working on emotions at home by the family
The emotional education of our children is an educational process that begins even before they are born and must be carried out throughout their childhood and adolescence both from the family environment and from the school.
No one doubts that the family is the main sociocultural factor in emotional and behavioral development in childhood. We know that we, fathers and mothers, are the main reference source for attitudes, discipline, conduct and behavior for our children. So, as we have always pointed out, we must try to be adequate models in the management of our emotions, avoiding as much as possible that powerful emotions such as anger or frustration, invade and overwhelm us.
Mothers and fathers must take time to discover the meaning of those specific emotions that appear at a certain moment (our own or others’) because this exercise provides us with greater possibilities of action. That is, the greater awareness (knowledge or emotional understanding), the less automatic our response will be.
strategies that develop the emotional intelligence of your children
Once we are clear that it is very important to teach 7-year-olds to manage their emotions, we can ask ourselves how we do it. To do this, below we have gathered some ideas for emotional education that you can implement at home.
- Parents must train our own emotions and reactions
As you can well intuit after the above, one of the first tips to take into account when teaching 7-year-old children, or of any other age, to manage their emotions is to become aware of ours and the way in which we express them.
This requires us, as adults, to work on our own emotional intelligence and properly channel our sensations, thoughts and behaviors that emotions generate in our body and mind (both pleasant and unpleasant). Taking time every day for our own self-knowledge, self-regulation and self-motivation will allow us to be the emotional and personal coaches that our children need to be happier, more cognitively effective and much more socially skilled.
Let us remember again that children learn more by what they see us do than by what we tell them to do, so that we take care of our way of acting before them.
- Encourage the verbalization and differentiation of the different emotions
At 7 years of age, children already have a fairly high command of language. They can express clearly what is happening to them and how they feel. Another thing is that they know how to distinguish the differences that exist between emotions of the same family, such as anger and frustration. For this to be possible, we must take time to listen to them and accompany them in these and other emotions, helping them to correctly identify and label each one of them. Again, our emotional intelligence is crucial at this point, the more we know the more we can help our little ones.
Accept her emotions without judgment and give her time to feel them in her body. Ask how he feels (avoiding phrases that do not accompany them from respect) and where he feels it.
- Work on empathy, put yourself in the place of the other
Another of the socio-emotional skills that we must help develop in our children is empathy. That ability to be able to put yourself in the place of the other and understand what is happening to him and feel what he feels.
One of the best tools that we have are children’s stories, since through the stories that their characters live, children are able to put themselves in their shoes and live different emotional experiences. Reading with them and asking them what they think the protagonist is feeling and thinking allows the development of this capacity.
Another way is to use any event that happened at home, the classroom or the park with your friends or siblings and ask them how they think others have experienced it, how they have felt and what they could improve next time.
- Practice meditation or relaxation techniques
The practice of yoga, mindfulness or other types of relaxation or meditation techniques is a good way to teach our children to manage their emotions. It is about spending a few minutes paying attention to your thoughts and emotions, to what is happening both inside and outside of them.
A good idea is to practice these types of meditation exercises together several times a week, without having to wait until you are stressed or angry. The main objective is to create a space of well-being and well-being that allows us to understand ourselves better by understanding the signals of our body, feeling our emotions and listening to our thoughts.
Learning these types of techniques is very beneficial because when we are very upset we can separate ourselves from the rest and take a moment to perform a breathing or meditation exercise that allows us to better handle this situation. Sometimes something so simple to close your eyes, breathe deeply and clench and unclench your fists hard for a few minutes allows you to dissipate anger by avoiding aggressive behaviors that we may later regret.
- Enable a corner of calm for children at home
We can enable a corner of calm where our child can go when he is overwhelmed by an emotion. In this place we will place stories, stuffed animals, games or any element that allows us to return to a less intense emotional state.
- Write an emotional journal
Another way to teach children to manage their emotions at this age is by using emotional journals in which they can write or draw how their day has been. It is best to start with the most pleasant things, leaving until the end what they have experienced worst, explaining who they were with, what happened, what they felt and how they acted. This practice allows them to become aware of the different emotions that they feel throughout a day and that what sometimes affects us a lot does not seem to be so important.