Emotional Intelligence in Children

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Last week my son had a new friend from soccer over to the house and after playing out in the yard they came in for a snack. It turns out their budding relationship is built on the fact that they are the only two in their school group who bring a peanut butter and jam sandwich for lunch at least once a week. I watched them negotiate over the last sandwich and it took a lot for me to not give him a side eye that said "he's a guest! Let him have the last piece."

But I stood aside, watching. Pretending to be mending a pair of  hubby's pants as they negotiated. I don't know if it ever occurred to them to ask me to make another one. It made me think of how children come to have these negotiating skills and  to play well with others.

One of my biggest anxieties is getting a call that one of children is bullying others, it would be a reflection on me as a parent and unlike being bullied it would be about them. The problem would be with my child because as we all know no victim of bullying is ever the cause of the situation.

When my oldest son was in his younger he almost lost all his friends because he always wanted them to play the games he chose and if people came over to our home he was not open to letting them play with his toys . He has always been about getting what he wants and keeping it all for himself. Teaching him to share took years. Until hubby and I sat him down and explained to him that if he wanted to have friends he would have to learn to share with them, listen to them and treat them like he would want to be treated. He has always been good about sharing with his siblings and slowly started to let his best friend in and let him play with his games.

Getting your Child to share:

  • Show them the benefits of sharing.
  • Model sharing and encourage it. Instead of buying everyone small snacks, buy a large one and have them share.
  • Let them make their own rules for sharing. Allow them to time the duration a friend or sibling can play with their toy if it makes them feel  better about it.

So as I looked over the hem I'd finished mending Young Mister reached for a butter knife and cut the sandwich half in half. I was a proud mummy.

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