Paving the way for my child’s better emotional development
EQ or Emotional Quotient refers to a person’s ability to understand his/her emotion along with the other person’s emotions, whereas IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient which indicates a person’s intelligence level.
IQ: A number that indicates a person’s reasoning or logical ability in comparison to the statistical norm.
EQ: implies the level of a person’s emotional intelligence.
Well, if you thought that’s how boring the article is going to be, let me tell you that’s not going to be the case. After all, these two abilities largely define the success of individuals and are quite interesting. I understand how my daughter is at an age when she is experiencing rapid physical and emotional growth.
I felt like writing about this as two of my colleagues were recently discussing what their children are good at. One is doing extraordinarily well in studies while the other is doing marvelously well in extracurricular activities. Now as they say, the grass is always greener on the other side. Both wanted their child to be like the other.
So, could this be done? Is there some magic? Some mantra? Probably a trick rolled up in someone’s sleeve? Can someone develop this? Just that perfect recipe?
It’s all about different patterns of development. The first child has more intelligence quotient whereas the other has a greater emotional quotient. Just in case you missed the definitions, you could scroll up.
To understand what it means for my child, I decided to take a closer look.
What’s more important?
We often talk or read about IQ, but EQ is something that is not usually talked about. But something that is neglected often turns out to be important. Remember the chapter you neglected while giving an exam and that was the most important chapter ever? That’s what it is all about.
Actually, we as parents can help develop emotional intelligence from a very young age, as young as from 2 years of age. I was quite surprised to know that. This is something that I observed with my daughter as well. And it made me curious about starting early with emotional development and taking the right steps at every point.
The mantra of Emotional Development
My daughter has surprised me from the time she was born. Starting from the point when she could only cry, she has progressively gotten better at communicating her needs and socializing. I had no idea about how good she could get at mimicking the people she came across. Her babbling slowly changed into meaningful words and then she could have simple conversations. It’s all a fascinating process. Her mimicking skills also made me realize how I had to watch what I said around her.
Every parent remembers the moment their kid starts to crawl and then take the first step. When my daughter started finding her own way around the house, it was quite a moment for me. Over the period of time, I learned how kids become capable of sorting toys by type, size, and color. Apparently, after completing two years of age, it is the perfect time to get them to do new things and indulge in activities that will help them achieve cognitive milestones.
Just like every other parent, I have paid special attention to my daughter’s diet. I have read a lot about how this is a crucial component of developing the emotional quotient of a child. I understand that her pickiness to eat certain foods shouldn’t get in the way of her getting the nutrients she needs. The right kind of nutrition is linked with communication, problem-solving and cognitive abilities in children which are closely linked with emotional intelligence. One of the most important nutrients is Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that acts as a building block of the brain during initial years.
More about DHA
Our body derives DHA from select food sources.
Some of them are as follows:
- OILY FISH such as salmon, tuna, sardines
- VEGETABLE OILS such as flaxseed, soy, canola
- OTHER SOURCES such as chicken, eggs
Of Emotional Quotient, DHA & Enfagrow A+
Clinical studies have shown that young children who received expert-recommended levels of DHA showed superior brain development in terms of:
- Visual acuity,
- Verbal intelligence, and
This was in comparison to those young children who did not get any. I researched a bit more and found that a regular diet might not be sufficient to give my child expert recommended levels of DHA. That’s when I came across Enfagrow A+, a fortified food. I have also been giving my child a daily dose of Enfagrow A+ with a glass of milk to ensure healthy growth. I have also understood the importance of keeping track of my child’s growth.
Is my child’s growth on track?
As parents, there are certain development milestones we notice about our children, be it babbling or walking. Though every child grows at a different pace, you can keep track of certain milestones in emotional development with some observations as described below. I have been following this for my daughter as well.
|Age Period||Regulation/Coping||Expressive Behavior||Relationship Building|
0 to 12 mos.
|Infant is self-soothing and learning to modulate reactivity.|
In service of coordinated action, Regulation of attention is required.
During stressful circumstances, the infant relies on caregivers for supportive “scaffolding”.
|In some expressive channels, behavior synchrony with others.|
Discrimination increases in others’ expressions.
Expressive responsiveness to stimuli under contingent control increases.
Coordination of expressive behaviors with emotion-eliciting circumstances increases as well.
|“Peek-a-boo” and other such social games.|
Social referencing is another way to increase relationship building.
Infants could even fake crying if they feel they aren’t getting the necessary attention.
12 mos.to 2½ years
|Self-awareness and consciousness of emotional response comes to light.|
Irritation might occur due to constraints and limits imposed on expanding autonomy and exploration needs.
|After self-evaluation and self-consciousness evident in expressive behavior accompanying of shame, pride, coyness is common.|
Verbal comprehension and production of words for expressive behavior and affective states increases.
|Tries to Anticipate different feelings towards different people.|
Discrimination of others’ emotions and their meaningfulness is significant.
The emergence of empathy and prosocial action.
2 to 5 years
|Symbols can provoke distress, but Symbolic access facilitates emotion regulation.|
Child’s evaluation of and awareness of own feelings and of emotion-eliciting events extends with communication.
|While playing and teasing adoption of pretending expressive behavior could be used.|
Facial expressions could be false, and this could mislead parents. This is known as pragmatic awareness.
|Child’s understanding of social transactions and expectations for comportment could be elaborated through communication with others.|
Behavior towards peers or friends could be sympathetic and pro social.
Increasing insight into others’ emotions.
|Early Elementary School: to 7 years||Self-conscious emotions (e.g., embarrassment) are targeted for regulation.|
Prominent coping strategy still prevalent which is through seeking support from caregivers but reliance on situational problem-solving increases and is evident as well.
|Adoption of “cool emotional front” with peers.||Coordination of social skills with one’s own and others’ emotions is significant.|
Early understanding of consensually agreed upon emotion “scripts.”
This self-explanatory chart can help you understand the different levels of your child’s emotional development.
Aiding emotional development:
A child’s development into successful adulthood shapes up just like the way a pot comes into being with the perfect mixture of clay, sponge, water and the potter’s touch. In case of a child’s development, nutrition, the affection of parents and care all come together. As your child deserves the best, you can educate yourself more about emotional development and take steps in the right direction.