Is your high school senior ready for college?
High school only goes so far in preparing teens for this important stage of life. Most students will graduate feeling academically equipped but lacking the life skills that are crucial to a smooth transition and a happy college experience.
One of the most important life skills for college students is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
A well-developed Emotional Intelligence will support your daughter’s college journey. It will help her build positive relationships, overcome challenges, and make thoughtful decisions.
Emotional Intelligence refers to the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions and understand the emotions of others. It is a critical component of healthy development and success in life.
As you prepare to send your high school senior off to college, use these tips to boost her EQ:
Encourage Emotional Expression
An honest expression of emotions is a key component of a strong EQ. Encourage your teen to talk about her feelings. Provide a safe and non-judgmental space and be ready to listen. As your teen shares, validate her feelings and experiences, and offer reassurance.
Empathy is the ability to understand and connect with the feelings of others. Encourage your teen to put herself in others’ shoes and imagine how they might feel in a given situation.
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Model Emotional Intelligence
When you show your teen how to manage her emotions in a healthy and constructive way, you show her how to do the same. Don’t hide your feelings. Instead, when you are experiencing a difficult or intense emotion, you express yourself with thoughtfulness and calm.
This is especially important if you are in an argument with your teen. When she triggers you and you demonstrate emotional control, you are showing her how she can do the same.
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and aware of one’s thoughts and emotions. Encourage your teenager to take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness and reflect on her emotions.
Provide Additional Support
Teens often reject parental attempts to lend a listening ear. They may shrug off well-meant support with an eye roll. If you are parenting a resistant teen, get outside support. A person outside the family, like a life coach, can provide a neutral outlet, offer guidance and perspective, and encourage positive action.