top of page

Emotional Intelligence In Parenting

Emotional intelligence is a critical skill for parenting and for parents to develop. By developing this skill, we as parents can create a positive and supportive environment for our children to grow and thrive.


I am a big advocate of emotional intelligence. Many researches and literatures have provided clear evidence on how emotional intelligence can help us in our professional and personal lives. So as an executive and leadership coach and emotional intelligence practitioner, this is an area that I champion and focus on with my clients.

Having completed an emotional intelligence camp for youth recently where emotional intelligence concepts and models were introduced to the participants, I feel it is equally important for parents to adopt this concept at home especially when bringing up their children. Parents will naturally do their best when it comes to their children and advocating emotional intelligence in the process will certainly up the ante. After all, shaping future leaders starts at home.

What emotional intelligence in parenting looks like

Emotional intelligence in parenting refers to the ability to recognise and understand our own emotions as parents and also the emotions of our children, and use this to better respond to situations involving our children. When it comes to parenting, emotional intelligence can play a crucial role in building strong, healthy, and meaningful connections with your children.

Emotional intelligence in parenting is about being able to model and teach emotional regulation to our children. Parents with high emotional intelligence are able to regulate their own emotions effectively and provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children to learn how to do the same. They are able to recognise their own emotional triggers and respond in a way that is calm and rational, rather than reactive or defensive.

Parents with emotional intelligence also recognise the importance of validating their children's emotions. They listen to their children, try to understand their perspective, and help them to work through their emotions in a healthy way. They encourage their children to express their feelings openly and honestly, without judgment or criticism. This helps children to develop a sense of self-awareness and emotional literacy, which are essential components of emotional intelligence.

Parents who possess emotional intelligence are often attuned to their children's emotions, aware of their own emotions, good listeners, empathetic and patient.

How emotional intelligence in parenting works

Emotional intelligence in parenting works by creating a positive and supportive environment for children to learn and grow. When parents model emotional regulation and empathy, children are more likely to develop these skills themselves. They learn that it is okay to express their emotions and that their feelings are important and valued. This helps to build a strong sense of self-esteem and self-worth, which are essential for healthy emotional development.

When parents teach their children how to manage their emotions effectively, they are also helping them to build resilience and coping skills. Children who are able to regulate their emotions are better able to handle stress, conflict, and adversity. They are also more likely to have positive social relationships and succeed academically and professionally.

What parents can do to foster emotional intelligence in parenting

Tip #1: Model emotional regulation

Children learn by example, so it is important for parents to model healthy emotional regulation. This means being aware of your own emotional triggers and responding in a calm and rational way.

Tip #2: Validate your children's emotions

When your children expresses their emotions, listen to them and validate their feelings. Let them know that it is okay to feel the way they do and that their feelings are important and valued. Emotions are neither good nor bad, just pleasant and unpleasant.

Tip #3: Encourage emotional expression

Encourage your children to express their emotions openly and honestly. Provide a safe and supportive environment for them to do so. Labelling their emotions promotes awareness of how they feel, leading to better self-management.

Tip #4: Teach empathy

Teach your children to empathise with others by putting themselves in their shoes. Help them understand how their actions and words can impact others. After all, every action and word will attract a reaction from others.

Tip #5: Practice problem-solving

Teach your children to problem-solve by helping them to identify solutions to their problems. Encourage them to assess the reality, think critically and come up with suitable solutions.

Tip #6: Practice active listening

Be attentive and listen to your children without interrupting, and try to understand their perspective. Do not judge or impose your expectations. Your children are unique so hear them out.

Tip #7: Use positive reinforcement

Praise your children for positive behaviour and encourage them to continue to express their emotions in a healthy way. When they feel safe and comfortable expressing their emotions, they will likely to continue the habit.

What parents need to do first

Before parents can foster emotional intelligence in parenting, they will need to put in the effort to develop and improve their level of emotional intelligence.

This can be done in several ways:

#1: Practice self-reflection

Take time to reflect on your own emotions and how they affect your behaviour and interactions with your children.

#2: Practice self-regulation

Develop strategies for regulating your own emotions in a healthy and productive way, such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or taking a break.

#3: Practice empathy

Try to understand your children's perspective and feelings, and respond in a supportive and compassionate way.

#4: Practice social skills

Communicate clearly and effectively with your children, build positive relationships, and model healthy conflict resolution.

The benefits of emotional intelligence in parenting

There are numerous benefits to fostering emotional intelligence in parenting.

Children who are emotionally intelligent are better able to manage their emotions, build positive relationships, and succeed academically and professionally. They become more resilient and better at coping with life’s challenges. They are also less likely to engage in risky behaviours such as drug and alcohol abuse, and they are less likely to develop mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Parents who foster emotional intelligence in their children also benefit from stronger relationships with their children. They are better able to communicate with their children and understand their perspective. They are also more likely to have positive and fulfilling relationships with their children as they grow and develop.


Emotional intelligence is a critical skill for parenting and for parents to develop. By developing this skill, we as parents can create a positive and supportive environment for our children to grow and thrive. Developing emotional intelligence takes time and practice, and we need to be patient and consistent in our efforts.


bottom of page