Research and studies have found that strong and powerful emotional and social competency in children are a strong predictor of a child's future achievement and indicator of school readiness.
Social and emotional competency in a child are the ability for a child to manage his emotions, o get along with peers, make friends, cooperate, understand others' feelings and needs, and being self-aware of one's actions and feelings.
It all starts from when the child is born. We know that during the ages of under 5 years, the brain grows faster than any other time, leaving the blue print of how your child thinks, behaves, sees etc. Part of the blue print will keep on changing as the child grows, yet some will have a lasting effect.
However, the major factor that has an impact on your child's emotional competency is the emotional bond that you develop with your child.
What is emotional bonding?
This is a crucial step to really connect with your child. It is not only the connections you have with your children, but the level of emotional attunement or non-verbal communication between you and your children.
It is about how well you understood and attuned to your child's needs and feelings that empowers your child to communicate and express theselves confidently, and feel loved, understood and valued. Attunement and feelings of safety will help your child to develop positive pathways in the brain for emotional development.
This is how you can influence and empower your children in the most effective way, while enjoying a close and warm relationship with them. This means your children can thrive in life and be the person they set out to be.
This is what all parents should aspire to; however, sometimes, there are many factors that affect the situation.
From my own journey
For many years, I kept asking myself this question – I know I love my children dearly, but I don't seem to be able to fully understand them as well as I would want to… I don't seem to be able to speak their language and at the level they will appreciate.
I was seriously asking myself how much do I really understand them?
It was a frustrating experience, as I was figuring out how was I going to get my messages through? How to influence and empower/impact my children? Am I speaking at the level they can understand or appreciate?
Do you ever feel this way?
Below are steps uncovered through my research, asking my children (the truth can often hurt), reading up books and learning from other parenting educators…
They may sound simple, but it does require lots and lots of patience, especially if you are not naturally a patient person. It requires slowing down your pace and really starting to listen and reflect. It is a whole new learning curve and ball game altogether, but believe me, it is well worth it!
It all started to make sense when I started to slow down and listen, not only listen what my children had to say, but listen to my own language, pay attention to my energy, my body language, my emotions, by actions and reactions….
Just…. SLOW DOWN!
Once you have more or less achieved the above, below are the steps to follow through:
- The earlier the emotional education begins the better.
- Provide a safe environment for your child to communicate.
- Be equipped to meet the needs of the child, i.e. giving knowledge, understanding and showing how to control your own emotions.
- Be present, patient and listen to the cues of your child on their moment – to – moment experiences.
- Be responsive to your child's needs.
- Celebrate and enforce positive behaviour from your child, as children thrive on positive feedback.
- Allow your child to initiate the interactions.
I will go through each step in more detail in future blogs.
I would love to hear your experiences and any feedback that you would like to share.
Have a connected day with your family.