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NAN: Emotional Intelligence

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Emotional intelligence refers to a child’s ability to perceive other’s emotions accurately and to regulate their own emotions.  It’s the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Children with a high emotional intelligence tend to build stronger relationships, communicate effectively, empathize with others and have better control of their moods. They also tend to have better impulse control, can cope with stress better and may be less likely to engage in risky, unhealthy behaviors like drinking alcohol or experimenting with drugs.  People with a high emotional IQ tend to have greater social awareness and can pick up on emotional cues easier. They also tend to readily understand the needs, emotions and concerns of others. 

According to Doctor Jeanne Segal, a psychotherapist, there are four attributes of emotional intelligence. These include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Self-awareness refers to how accurately you can assess your emotions, self-management refers to how well you can control your emotions, social awareness refers to how well you understand the emotional needs of others and relationship management refers to how well you are able to develop and maintain good relationships. 

Children who are confident in themselves and their abilities and feel comfortable around their peers tend to do better in school, work and play. Children who have close friends and who are able to cope with stress are less likely become victims of bullies.

Nannies can help to build a child’s confidence by helping him to discern emotions and by fostering friendships. Helping a child brainstorm solutions to problems, rather than solving problems for him, can also foster the development of confidence.

By labeling feelings and emotions and helping children to appropriately act on them, by providing opportunities for friendship building with peers who share similar interests and by helping children to see the many ways to solve a problem, nannies can build confidence and self-esteem in the children in their care. 

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Emotional Intelligence