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4 Ways To Raise Kids With High EQ

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Mar 24, 2023

4 Ways To Raise Kids With High EQ

Signs of High EQ: Attentiveness, Alertness, Calmness, Confidence, Concentration

Most of us are familiar with IQ tests but what about EQ tests? Believe it or not, there are EQ tests available to gauge emotional intelligence. Unlike IQ tests which involve pattern-recognition, logic, and memorization, EQ tests ask questions relating to feelings and social situations1. Having a high EQ score means that a person is more emotionally intelligent.

However, without taking a test, there are several signs that you can watch out for to tell if your child’s EQ is developed. These EQ qualities include attentiveness, alertness, calmness, confidence, and concentration. These are all essential skills for young kids and adults alike2.

By managing their emotions, they are able to think more clearly, keep cool under pressure, and communicate better with others. Instead of becoming easily frustrated or anxious when faced with challenges, high EQ children are more likely to take these challenges head on and learn more in the process.

How To Encourage Emotional Intelligence in Kids

Young kids who cry or throw tantrums frequently are not inherently “bad apples”. It takes patience, understanding, and support from their parents to guide them through the emotions they feel. Over time, even troublesome kids can grow up to be happy, successful, and emotionally intelligent adults with the right role models.

Here are some ideas on how to improve the EQ of your children:

1. Set a good example

Undoubtedly, children look up to their parents all the time (literally and figuratively). Young kids especially will mimic and mirror what people do and say around them. At this stage, anyone they encounter can be a positive or negative role model, whether it be you, their grandparents, or even characters on television. This is why setting a good example early on is extremely important for raising high EQ kids3.

However, busy and stressed out adults are not always the best role models for emotional intelligence. As a parent, you need to be aware of your own words and actions when around your kids. Watch your tone, volume, and language. Don’t assume that it’s safe to use foul language or gestures just because your child is too young to understand.

Aside from avoiding negative behavior, show them how they should act. Speaking calmly, making good eye contact, and actively listening to your children and other people are great examples to set.

2. Socialize and play

All work and no play makes for a dull life. Regular and quality family bonding is a must for developing high EQ. Find ways to incorporate RULER skills which include: Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating emotions4. For instance, reading stories or watching shows with your kids can be turned into an opportunity to identify the emotions of the characters, or develop your child’s vocabulary so they can better express themselves over time.

Another good idea is to plan a game night. Playing games is fun but it also teaches valuable life lessons like fairness, teamwork, patience, and how to win or lose with dignity.

Additionally, you can encourage your child to join extra-curricular activities like sports or band. Boost their confidence and trust by cheering them on at their recitals or matches. All of these activities are ways to improve EQ while creating precious memories to look back on.

3. Talk about feelings

Opening up and talking about feelings is tougher than it sounds. Sometimes it seems easier to just sweep things under the rug or bottle up emotions. But how can we help improve our kids’ EQ if we avoid their or our own emotions?

If your child cries or seems frustrated, help them by asking them how they feel. Let them describe or name the feeling they are experiencing. Afterward, try to ask them why they feel that way. This helps develop high EQ skills over time5.

Avoid pressuring them to answer these questions or invalidating their feelings just because you think it is trivial. Instead, try to offer solutions and new perspectives. It may help to tell them a story about a time you also experienced the same feeling.

4. Help others

Showing empathy is one of the hallmarks of high EQ children and adults. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It is a valuable skill for making new friends and getting along with others. Ways you can display empathy to your child is to listen to them and show concern.

Extend this to everyone you meet and talk about when you are with your child. Try volunteering with a charity or church group to extend a helping hand to those in need. These experiences may help your child develop higher EQ.

Learn more about helping your child develop high EQ here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Mar 24, 2023

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