How to Model Emotional Intelligence for Children

How to Model Emotional Intelligence for Children

How to Model Emotional Intelligence for ChildrenEvery parent or caregiver wants their child to grow up healthy, happy, and successful. And in trying to bring that all-important goal to fruition, we tend to focus heavily on education, equipping kids with the knowledge and skills they need to build a secure, stable, and prosperous life. But raising healthy and successful children is about far more than cultivating their intelligence quotient (IQ). It’s also about nurturing their emotional intelligence quotient (EQ). And that comes both from what you teach your children and what you model for them.The Importance of Emotional IntelligenceChildren aren’t born with a natural ability to understand their emotions, let alone the knowledge to process and express them. In fact, emotional intelligence refers to a set of specialized skills that many of us enter adulthood never having completely mastered. Emotional intelligence involves self-awareness, emotional regulation, self-expression, active listening, empathy, and

How to Help Your Foster Kids Pass Their Developmental Stages with Flying Colors

How to Help Your Foster Kids Pass Their Developmental Stages With Flying ColorsAccording to ego psychologist Erik Erikson, all people go through eight specific stages of development. These psychosocial development stages help to determine self-actualization later in life. As you might expect, healthily going through those stages is important for all children. For foster children, however, it becomes even more imperative. Foster kids have often gone through traumatic experiences or may not have experienced a real “home” until recently. How can you provide a support system for them in your home? How can you help them pass their developmental stages now, so they can be more stable and secure as they eventually transition into adulthood? Let’s take a look at Erikson’s stages and what you can do to help your foster kids through each one. Developing Stages Through RelationshipsErikson’s stages of psychosocial development are: Trust versus mistrustAutonomy versus shame and doubtInitiative versus guiltIndustry versus inferiorityIdentity

Introducing Responsibilities to Your Children

 Introducing Responsibility at Appropriate AgesAs a parent, one of the most daunting tasks is preparing your child to be an adult. This requires a forward-thinking attitude, confidence, and an ability to trust and support your kids without doing so in a way that earns you that dreaded “helicopter parent” label.Here are a few common responsibilities that children are given as well as a suggested time and manner in which to introduce them.Getting Their First PhoneSmartphones are part of the modern lifestyle. They help with everything from receiving messages to keeping track of the time, the weather, and even your health. Tech titan Bill Gates waited until his kids were 14 years old to get their first smartphones. Even so, in 2016, the average age that a kid got their first smartphone was 10.3 years old. Why the discrepancy? Because the primary factor behind when to give your child a smartphone doesn’t

It’s Not Just COVID-19: Keeping Your Kids Healthy This Winter

  Let’s face it: Parenting has always been scary. But it’s especially so when you’re trying to keep your little ones safe in the face of a pandemic. You’d do anything to protect them. But while the world’s attention may be focused on COVID-19, there are other, perhaps even more significant health threats, parents need to guard against. Influenza It might come as a surprise, but COVID-19 and the seasonal flu share some similarities. Both are infections that can easily be spread through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, and even breathing and speaking near others.  As frightening as COVID-19 may be, it seems to be the seasonal flu that poses the greatest risk to children in particular, especially those under 5. While children are by no means immune to the coronavirus or its severest complications, they appear to be far less susceptible to the worst impacts of the disease than

Myths About Adopting Teenagers in Foster Care

Creating a supportive environment for children can help them handle the stresses of growing up and provide tools for maintaining mental health.   The benefits of a loving and supportive family are clearly established. Yet, misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding the adoption of older children and teenagers in foster care mean that they often face more challenges during the adoption process compared to younger children. Ensuring that these false impressions are addressed is essential to ensuring that barriers to adoption, especially of older children and teenagers, are reduced. Here are five common misconceptions about adopting older children.Adoption is Too Expensive Adoption from foster care tends to be less expensive than adopting via a private agency. Although it is state-dependent, the small costs involved are often reimbursable and support is also available to help ease the financial burden involved with adoption. In cases of adoption where the child is over five (including teenagers),

Tips for Easing Child Anxiety

Creating a supportive environment for children can help them handle the stresses of growing up and provide tools for maintaining mental health.   Is your child withdrawn and glum on most days? Have you noticed a drastic fall in their grades? Have they lost interest in activities that they loved in the past? Do they get increasingly cranky and aggressive? Are the mood swings hampering their everyday routine? There is a chance that your child is suffering from mental health issues. Anxiety and depression in kids are widespread these days.  Children are often malleable, gullible, and innocent of the ways of the world. Peers, teachers, and families are some significant influences in a kid’s life. It is, therefore, imperative for parents to create a healthy and holistic environment for their children. You will want to protect your young one from all the pain and suffering of the world, but that is

Taking Your First Family Trip with Your Foster Child

Planning a family trip with a foster child requires planning, but it can be a great bonding and trust building opportunity.   If a foster child has just joined your family, you may be excited about taking your very first family vacation together. As found by researchers at Penn State, all children – including teens – benefit from spending time with their parents; doing so has “important implications for adolescents’ psychological and social adjustment.” Because daily life is usually busy, a vacation is an ideal way to give children this much-needed time, but also to get to know them – their interests, passions, and unique personality traits. How can you ensure that your first vacation together has all the ingredients you need to achieve this aim?Organization is Key In order to travel with family peacefully and efficiently, organization is vital. If flying, ensure your children’s documents (passports, etc.) are up-to-date (if

Adjusting to Having a Child with Food Allergies in Your Home

Understanding the causes, signs, and emergency recommendations for children with food allergies can help caregivers provide a safe environment.   For those who have kids with food allergies, food is a risky experience. Their immune system labels a particular substance as dangerous and releases inordinate amounts of histamine. It can put children in danger, so they have to be careful with everything they serve on the table or keep in their home. It’s not just about avoiding peanuts or any other allergen. It’s about making the home a safe place for the kid, who can’t fully control their food choices without help from grownups. What Is a Food Allergy?An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly sees a harmless substance as dangerous. Even the smallest traces of the allergen can trigger an immune reaction. These foods cause some of the most common food allergies in children:Milk (lactoseFishShellfishEggsTree nutsPeanutsWheatSoyThese foods are all

The Importance of Sibling Relationships in Foster Care

Keeping siblings in care together is not always possible, but studies show the importance of maintaining these relationships.   Adapting to life in foster care is not easy for children. They have to adjust to the new environments, caretakers, and schedules. They face limited contact with their biological families and may need to work to keep their sibling connection intact. Fear of losing siblings can lead to feelings of insecurity, depression, loneliness and anxiety. They may not openly express their feelings, so establishing trust and communication with foster parents and the family unit as early as possible is vital in a foster care setting. Family System TheoryFamily Systems Theory, also known as Bowen Theory (1999) describes patterns and relationships that are created within a family system. Foster siblings that are involved in experiencing intense emotional traumas will have different needs and expectations of their caregivers.The theory explains the triangle of relationships

Keeping A Family Journal

Journaling as a family can be a therapuetic bonding experience and create a record of memories.   A journal captures the memories that could easily escape your mind. These memories are usually raw and can be passed down for generations through the family tree. The benefits of keeping a journal cannot be overemphasized, but they get more pronounced when it becomes a family project. Each member of the family has a unique perspective on life. A similar event will be recorded in multiple unique ways by each member of the family. The family journal will, therefore, cease to be a monotonous narrative through a single eye and become the combined efforts of all persons in the home. This adds beauty and multiple voices to the project. The Beauty of Family LifeA family is like an orchard made of beautiful fruits. Each member of the family has a different flavor that makes