How’s your EIQ? I am continually reminded of how important a person’s emotional intelligence quotient is to parenting. I see emotional age as an individual’s ability to appropriately exhibit or inhibit feelings, especially in times of stress.

I had a Deja Vu moment today, as yet again, the people on my plane ride were treated to the exuberant joy and contrasting fit of a very young child. Mom was doing a great job playing with him, but unfortunately, mom’s excited emotional state escalated the child’s behavior. Within minutes of playing with mom, the child began to happily laugh and scream. When mom tried to get him to laugh quieter, and the child did not comply, mom got upset and went from zero to crazy in a nanosecond. As mom got angrier, the boy’s exuberance turned to distress. Luckily, all calmed down… until they started playing again, and the cycle continued.

Our emotional state strongly impacts the emotional state of the developing brains within our circle of influence. (Note: By “developing brains”, I am speaking birth through age 25.) What is the implication of this information? Provide boundaries. Say, “no” when needed. Issue logical consequences. But, most importantly, do this in a neutral and calm way. Children may not always hear what you have to say, but your emotional state comes through loud and clear. So, breathe and be a good emotional role model while you still have some influence on the developing brains around you.