How to Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child?

How to Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child

Raising an emotionally intelligent child might sound like a big task, but it’s really about lots of little moments and habits that add up over time. Think of it as teaching your child the language of emotions.

As a parent or caregiver, your core duty is to support your child’s emotional intelligence in every possible way. And the best you start when they are really young.

Before that, you need to know whether it is inborn or learned, how to identify such children and their specific needs, and today, we will guide you all through the way.

Before we start, remember that it’s not just about the tough times; it’s also about sharing the joy in the small victories and happy moments.

Is Emotional Intelligence Born Or Learned?

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the skill of comprehending and handling emotions. It is not solely a talent one is born with but rather a set of skills and behaviors that can be taught and improved upon.

While some may have a natural inclination towards certain areas of EI, it is not an inherent characteristic. Studies suggest that genes may shape certain aspects of emotional intelligence, such as temperament.

If one of your children is better equipped to handle their emotions than their sibling, it may be due to varying upbringings, experiences, or parenting techniques. These factors have significant impacts on their respective developments.

Additionally, emotional intelligence is acquired by children through interactions with various individuals, such as educators, caretakers, and peers, as well as through direct instruction and examples of emotional skills.

How Do You Know If Your Child Is Emotionally Intelligent?

If your child is emotionally intelligent, they will show a deeper understanding and management of emotions. This may sometimes surprise you, and the next time, you realize your child’s talent.

You will encounter your toddler, who can recognize, regulate, and even name their emotions and adjust to changes.

For example, if they feel jealousy of their newborn sibling, they can express, “I’m upset because  I feel you love the baby more, “You can understand their ability to connect emotions with situations.

Here are some common signs by which you can identify your child’s emotional intelligence state,

  • They use their vocabulary to identify their emotions.
  • Rather than becoming disheartened, they use their mistakes as a chance to gain knowledge. 
  • And they recognize those emotions in others, too.
  • They see things from other people’s points of view.
  • They’re quick to help others.
  • They use tools to manage their emotions.
  • They’re curious and eager to learn.
  • They know what they’re good and weak at.
  • They are less impulsive.
  • They have good manners.
  • They don’t give up on goals they care about.

What Are The 4 Emotional Needs Of A Child?

Emotionally intelligent children have specific emotional needs. As a parent or caregiver, you need to know those for your child’s well-being and development. Understanding emotional needs is also important for nurturing and creating a supportive environment according to your kid’s special needs.

The emotional needs of your child are,

  • Love
  • Belonging
  • Friendship
  • Security
  • Forgiveness
  • Discipline And Consistency
  • Empathy And Understanding
  • Emotional Regulation And Coping Skills

Let us discuss about four important emotional needs.

  1. Validation And Acceptance

Children with emotional intelligence need to be validated and accepted. Validation means acknowledging their feelings, listening empathetically, and affirming their right to feel as they do.

  1. Emotional Connection

Children require emotional connections with caregivers and peers. Building strong bonds through positive interactions, affection, and quality time builds trust and a sense of belonging in them.

  1. Feeling Safe And Secure

Children need a safe and predictable environment to feel secure and free to learn and grow. This includes physical safety and routine. When they feel safe, they can explore and take risks.

  1. Feeling Unconditionally Loved

Unconditional love is essential in building a child’s self-worth and self-esteem. Love that doesn’t come with strings attached or depend on achievements.

At What Age Do Kids Develop Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence develops over time, starting from infancy through adulthood. The foundation begins in the earliest years:

Infancy (0-2 years): In the first 24 months, babies start to express basic emotions and can sense emotions in caregivers.

Toddlerhood (2-3 years): Toddlers begin to identify and name basic emotions and learn simple ways to manage them.

Preschool (3-5 years): Children start to understand more complex emotions. Their empathy begins to develop.

School Age (6 years and up): Children continue to develop their emotional intelligence. They learn to handle social relationships, understand nuanced emotions, and develop advanced strategies for regulating their emotions.

What Creates Emotional Intelligence?

If you want to nurture emotional intelligence in your child, then you have to take care of their emotional needs and develop their intelligence. Emotional intelligence includes self-awareness, self-control, motivation, empathy, and social skills. By carefully assessing their needs, kids can become well-adjusted and emotionally secure.


Home is the first and important place to create self-awareness of your child, where you and other caregivers need to play the significant role.

Let your child express their emotions. Then, help them label their emotions. You can create a supportive atmosphere where your kids’ emotions are equally acknowledged as adults. Set an example of yourself by talking about your own feelings. Show them how you make choices and handle your emotions.


As your child grows, they will need to deal with stronger emotions. In such cases, you can help them learn some coping strategies. Deep breathing, stepping away from a situation, or counting to ten can help them develop self-regulation.

Also, develop their problem solving skill by working on complex task together. You can discuss about potential solutions and the outcomes. This will also strengthen your bonding.


To solve problems, you can set goals and a timeline to complete the project together. Celebrate efforts, not just outcomes. Also, support their interests and initiatives. Motivate them to always do something new.


To create empathy and kindness in your kid you can discuss about other emotions. For example, how our actions can affect others life. Or talking about characters in cartoons, movies or books can also enhance empathy skill.

Social Skills

Every child should be taught social behaviors like sharing or taking turns. These will help them being a good human being. You must teach them good stuff, how to behave nicely with others.

How Do You Raise An Emotionally Secure Child?

Emotionally secure child needs and parenting styles are a bit different because you need to be more careful about dealing with their emotions. The path may seem tricky but also adventurous for you. Here are some steps you can take,

  1. Model Emotional Intelligence Yourself. Show them how you manage your own emotions in different situations.
  2. A stable and loving home environment where they feel safe, loved, and valued.
  3. Let them become independent while fully supporting and guiding them.
  4. It’s important to stay consistent with the routines, rules, and parenting styles.
  5. Response to their needs, both physical and emotional. Show that you’re there for them.
  6. Listen to their concerns and experiences as you do for an adult. You need to show you are genuinely interested in your kid.
  7. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques are a great way to hold and handle emotions. Teach your toddler the techniques.
  8. Children need boundaries to feel secure. Set clear limits also be their emotional support so they understand appropriate behaviors and responses.
  9. Books and stories can be really beneficial for their creative development. You can explore different scenarios and talk about how characters may feel and react.


Now that you know in depth about your emotionally intelligent child let me summarize the whole concept for you.

First of all, raising emotionally intelligent children means teaching them the language of emotions through small moments. This is not an innate talent but can be taught and improved.

With some signs, you can identify an EI child. They can recognize their emotions as well as others.

In such a case, you have to be more careful about their needs as they develop over time. Nurture their emotional needs, such as validation and acceptance. Try to provide a stable, loving, and supportive environment to grow them properly.

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Emily Pham

Infant Teacher

My name is Emily and I am an infant teacher. My aim with this position is to learn how children develop as unique individuals and learn how to support their holistic growth. I am currently a student at San Francisco
State University majoring in Child and Adolescent Development. With this experience, I am hoping to get a sense on whether I want to continue to work in the classroom or if I want to learn the administrative side of education. The experience of working directly with children is gratifying and I wish to create a safe space for children to explore with all of their senses as they develop their own personalities. I hope to be able to help build a strong foundation so that the children can have the confidence and ability to express themselves.