Creative Child

How to Nurture Emotional IQ in Highly Sensitive Children

by Deborah Song

My highly sensitive child is graduating kindergarten in a couple of days. The once hesitant learner has become an active participant in class and leader within her peers. Inherent in her growth, has been her ability to better communicate and command her emotions, which has really diffused the need for tantrums and other emotional outbursts. But lately, she’s regressed as she often does when her grandparents visit for the summer.

I grew a pair of skeptical eyes initially and wondered if my parents were enabling her. She’s come so far. The last thing I want her to do is regress.  But upon some thought, I realized my parents weren’t really doing anything to spoil her. They’re incredibly attentive and loving, but they’re also good about correcting misbehavior. And they encourage my kids to take turns, speak politely to each other, and always compliment them when they share.

I think the true reason for my daughter’s regression is probably the same reason I become a little slower when my parents are here: she feels more free to release tension. Not only does she have unlimited access to undivided attention, and a true referee who sees her sister’s sly behavior much more consistently than I’m ever able to, but it’s also when mom’s most relaxed as well.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What I considered to be regressive behavior, I realized, was no regression at all. It was simply her way of releasing pent up frustrations. Sure, it’s our job to teach our kids how to manage their emotions in a healthy and civil manner.  But parents often forget that the road to emotional maturity is a journey, a long journey that includes the occasional tantrums, emotional outbursts, whining and tears.

We want our kids to be well behaved at all times, even our young toddlers. But is this really reasonable? How will our kids ever grow into emotionally intelligent adults if they’re not allowed to feel and give their emotions an outlet from time to time? Before children can get a grip on their emotions and become empowered to solve their own problems, they need to have the freedom to feel, be heard, understood and feel accepted. Here are some steps parents can take to nurture emotional intelligence in their kids.

1 of 2

You might also like.

Want more? Follow us.

Join our newsletter and get the latest updates!
Hit "Like" to see Creative Child on Facebook