Emotional intelligence is important for children and adults. Children need practice and positive role models so that they can develop emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence & children is a topic that I was thinking about this evening as I watched an adult laugh at a child and call him a baby because he hurt himself and started crying. The child looked to be about six, definitely no older than seven.
This really bothered me. It got me thinking about brain development and what I know about how a child’s brain develops. No one is born emotionally intelligent. We learn through trial and error, strategies and skills. Adult’s brains are not fully developed until we are 25 years old. Think about that related to a child and their age. A five year old child has only been on this earth for 1,825 days. A six year old, 2,190 days and a seven year old, only 2,555 on this planet!
Sadly, there are just too many people out there that are TOO hard on some kids. Literally, ADULTS Laughing and making fun of CHILDREN for crying 🥺. Wonder how bullies are made? That could be one way. I’m no child specialist, just a special education teacher who has been working with children from Prek-5th grade for six years… but anyone can see that an adult treating a child that way is modeling and setting a bad example for the child. There are other things even worse than that happening in a child’s brain when an adult is laughing at them and telling them that it is not OK to cry.
How about when an adult accidentally hurts a child to the point where the child begins crying, then that adult begins calling them names for crying instead of apologizing. What is that modeling for the child, other than its alright to not take responsibility for your actions.
Some children also deal with very harsh consequences for making not so wise choices. Humans who have been on Earth for less than 3,000 days! They should know better? I don’t think so.
Expecting these kids to have the emotional intelligence that most 30 year old’s don’t even have is absolutely ridiculous!
Five to seven year old’s have been on this planet for less than 3,000 days! Think about this when you are faced with a child who is screaming, crying or just making unwise choices. They need to learn better ways. Us adults are supposed to teach them healthier ways to express their feelings.
Trying to “toughen them up” instead of teaching them coping skills is not healthy. Yes, coping skills – which they will need as adults as well to deal with life by the way. Have you ever seen an angry adult yelling in a store at the wrong person, or flipping people off because someone jumped in front of their car and they had to slow down? They probably could use some coping skills to deal with their frustration better. See what I mean? Children need to practice this now! Some adults still have no coping skills!
Children need to be taught that it is OK to express their feelings, and that there are acceptable ways to express being angry, sad, tired, overwhelmed, etc.. and they shouldn’t be shamed or bullied by any other child or especially ANY adult about it. We are adults and we should be the ones modeling appropriate behaviors and coping skills. If they are taught that it is embarrassing or shameful to express their feelings they will hold it in, and that is dangerous, and not fostering healthy development at all!
Check out my other posts:
- Behavior Management
- Kids' Health Topics
- Safe Sites
- Teacher Gear
- Teaching Early Reading