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Building emotional intelligence 

Building emotional intelligence 

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Derek Jackson
Building emotional intelligence 


Twenty-first century children have the Internet to help them acquire the technical skills that they require to prepare themselves for a successful future, but technical skills are not enough.

Monday, September 3rd, 2018

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to control and manage your own emotions and respond positively to the emotions of other people. An emotionally intelligent person has a healthy self-image. Your self-image is a mirror reflection of how the significant othernurturers responded to you in the early developmental stage of your life. Bear in mind that most personality theorists believe that your basic personality is established at about seven years of age. After seven, it is very difficult to alter your personality. The good news, however, is that it is relatively easy to change your behaviour.

When explaining the concept of emotional intelligence, I like to refer to the book “I’m OK – You’re OKI am ok, you are ok” by Thomas Thomas Harris. According to Harris, as the human being goes through life, you can adopt one of four positions as he names them. You can change your position from time to time, but you wWill always be in one of these positions.

I am not OK. You are OK.

The first position that you can adopt, according to Harris, is the position of: ‘“I am not o.kOK. You are okOK.’.” This is obviously a very negative position to be in. You feel that other people are better than you are and have been blessed with more advantages than you. If you were to label a person such as this, you would probably say that this person has an inferiority complex. Harris contends that we are all born into this position, because when we are born we are totally helpless and dependent on other people to survive – d. Difficult to dispute. He believes that fifty percent50% of people remain in this position for the rest of their lives. In other words, he believes that fifty percenthalf of the world’s population suffers from an inferiority complex.

I am OK. You are not OK.

The second position is ‘“I am o.kOK. Yyou are not o.kOK.’” 

This position is the opposite to the first positionone. In this position, the person believes that he/she is superior to everybody else. In other words, this person is entirely egocentric, selfish, and disrespectful – y: Yes, says Harris, all of these. How does a person get into this position? This would be the child who lacks discipline, because the parents never set boundaries while raising the child. He or she can do whatever they wish. Parents always make excuses for the unacceptable behaviour. According to Harris, this is the best-case scenario in this position.: The wWorst- case scenario in this position iswould be that the child becomes adisplays psychopathic tendencies.

A psychopathA person displaying this behaviour is would be someone who has no guilt feelings of guilt. A violent psychopath is someone who can slit a person’s throat and go straight on to eat a hamburger. According to research, one in 300 children are at risk of developing into a psychopathsuch a personality disorder. Remember that not all psychopaths are violent. When I speak at a school with of 600 pupils, I would ask the pPrincipals if they are aware that they would typically have two pupils at risk of developing into psychopathssuch tendencies and whether they are aware ofthey looking for the signalswarning signs? .

The most reliable factor to identify this type of behaviour early on is if whether at the age of six a child is unnecessarily cruel to animals. The child of six who enjoys pulling the wings off a butterfly or puts benzine on a cat and lights it. Such a child should be referred for psychotherapy as soon as possible. One should be particularly concerned if a child in preschool is behaving like in this way at such an earlier age. Why would a child adopt such a position? 

Harris believes that the a child who is suffers from abused by the parents  at home is most likely to adopt this positiondisplay this behaviour. Why, you may ask? The answer is because if you cannot trust your parents, whom can you trust? Only yourself.

Teach your child that behaviour begets behaviour. How you behave towards others will determine how they will behave towards you. Children need to learn that being pleasant, friendly and respectful towards others brings rewards to them and that the opposite is also true.

Discipline should be applied sensibly. Parents should be strict but kind in raising an emotionally intelligent child. Strict and unkind is a recipe for disaster, but so is the opposite – kind and no rules. Emotionally intelligent children know their boundaries and respect these boundaries.

Do not allow your child to bully other children. Children who bully and dominate other children invariably take up the position of ‘I am OK. You are not okay’. 

I am not OK. You are not OK.

The third position is ‘“I am not okOK. you You are not o.k.OK” .’ Best Best-case scenario in this position is the person who is depressed, while the worst worst-case is would be the person who commits suicide.

I am OK. You are OK.

The fourth position is the positive positionone:, ‘“I am o.kOK. You are o.kOK.”.’ 

In this position, the person feels o.k.OK about self and o.k.OK about other people. When I talk about an emotionally intelligent person, I am referring to someone who occupies this position.

You wish for your child to feel OK about self and OK about others. Approval of good behaviour is the key. Nothing works better than positive feedback to your child. Make sure that this feedback is valid though. Confronting bad behaviour is important to develop emotional maturity.

The power of example

What factor is the key to which position a young child will adopt? Without a doubt, it is what the child learns by observing the parents. Children learn by modelling the behaviour of the parents. I often ask parents what position have they you have adopted? If you do not feel not o.k.OK about yourself and other people, you can be pretty sure that your child is busy moving into that position as well.

 Parents seldom realize realise how much children model their behaviour. I would give them this example. I ask the parent who is the primary financial provider that if he or she were offered a post in Japan for a three-year contract at three times their present salary with other tempting perks as well, whether they would they accept –, and of course they always say yes. Anyone accepting such an offer which must be taken up in three months’ time would frantically attend Japanese classes to prepare for this opportunity.

I can promise you that no matter how many classes you attend when you land in Japan, nobody will understand you and you will not understand them, and by the time you leave Japan three years later, you will still be speaking broken Japanese. A new born Japanese child, however,  is born today and in three years’ time will be speaking fluent Japanese, not having been to one Japanese lesson.

How does the child learn to speak such a complicated thing as a language without any lessons? The answer is by observing the parents. My simple point is that if a child learns language in three years by observing the parents, what else have they learned in three years by observing the parentsby observation during this time? If you have modelled kindness, the child has will have learned to be kind., Iif you have modelled ‘I am o.kOK. you You are o.kOK.’,. your child is has been busy adopting that this position as well.

Practical examples

Teaching your child to handle being bored is important. Children ought to enjoy their own company. I am not saying that you ought to make them bored, but it is not your job as a parent to constantly entertain them. Children need to learn to take responsibility for their own lives. Otherwise they will become dependent on and hostages to their peer group.

Do remember that children need to be part of the peer group, however, since group conformity helps build emotional maturity. The emotionally intelligent child is not a loner. If the fashion for the group is long hair, you would be unwise to insist that your child has a short hairstyle. A guideline would be to allow them to conform to their peer group’s style, as long as it is not illegal, immoral or harmful to their health.

In the end, it is important to celebrate life. Provide variety. Do something exciting every weekend. You do not have to take a four-year-old to Mauritius to have a good time. Pack a picnic basket and drive ten kilometres out of town and have a picnic. Things like this can make time with your child so special.

*IMPORTANT NOTICE. A-well balanced diet, both during pregnancy and after delivery, helps sustain an adequate supply of breastmilk. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended during the first 6 months of life followed by the introduction of adequate nutritious complementary foods, along with sustained breastfeeding up to two years of age and beyond.

 

“NANKID® 4” is not a breast-milk substitute. As babies grow at different rates; seek advice with your health professionals on the appropriate time when your baby should start receiving this product.

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