My daughter, Jacelyn will turn four years old this year-end. Time flies swiftly and I have been watching her physical development from a small tiny foetus to a grownup kid. As a mother, it is important for me to ensure she progresses healthily, mentally and spiritually. The importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) should not be forgotten during this development stage.
My daughter can be considered an independent girl but at times she can be emotional in terms of the way she expresses herself. It is important for me to study her temperaments and observe her characteristics.
She enjoys drying and folding the clothes and sweeping the floor. I am truly amazed at her kindness and helpfulness at such a tender age. She is eager to volunteer her help to do the household chores. Although I am aware that she does not complete these tasks properly, I still encourage her to continue with them because she enjoys helping out with the chores.
Every small contribution from her is cherished and appreciated. Those are the times I express my gratitude by saying, “Thank you, dear” and “Mummy loves Jacelyn.” Hear this, she would stop for a moment to look at me, smile and then continue with what she was doing.
Appreciation must be expressed, and this process begins with politeness at home. The family environment is the primary source of experience in a child's development. We parents provide the largest share of human contact for kids before they go to school and start exploring the world.
There is a proverb that says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
I thank God for His blessings upon us with our precious little girl whom we love dearly. Motherhood can be a challenge in terms of juggling between a career and family. Both my husband and I work in Penang and our parents live in different states. The importance of commitment and understanding (as husband and wife) truly helps in developing our child’s EQ.
I remember once when my husband was away for a business trip for a week. He left early in the morning to catch his flight. When our daughter woke up, she noticed her daddy was not around. Rubbing her eyes and puzzled, she asked, “Why daddy leave so early?” I tried to resolve her confusion by letting her know that her daddy was working and would be back in a few days. She might not have understood how long she needed to wait for her daddy to return home but I assured her, daddy would call daily so that she would not miss her daily conversation with him.
In fact, the role of fathers in the family should never ben underestimated. They are also role models for our children. My husband and I make a habit of calling each other often especially when he is away from home. I also let my daughter chat with her daddy daily via Facebook, Skype or phone.
By doing this, we hope to manage her emotions in a healthy way by encouraging her to care and be concerned for others, building her trust and helping her adapt to changing circumstances.
I believe EQ develops the most from life’s practical experiences. What a child experiences during her early years sets the critical foundation for the rest of her life. It might help to create self-awareness – to recognise the emotions and how they affect her thoughts and behaviour; self-management – to control undesirable feelings and learn how to manage the emotions in healthy ways; and relationship management – to develop interpersonal skills in communicating with others and also to understand the emotions, needs and concerns of other people.
My daughter may not be the smartest person for her age but as a parent, I will learn and continue to give the best support and help her become a better person and let her experience the meaningfulness of life. Investment in early childhood is indeed vital and the returns are manifold over the course of her life.
Boo Mei Chin