A new study suggests that the way that parents communicate to their children can directly affect their level of emotional intelligence. Similar studies have been conducted before, but this recent study has one fundamental difference. It looked at both the mother and father’s role in perpetuating gender stereotypes through the way that they communicate with their child.
The study found that mothers are more likely to feel more at ease with expressing and talking about their emotions, whereas fathers are typically a little more guarded. The message that this can send to our children is that it’s more acceptable for women to talk about emotions than men.
In the long-term, this could explain why many women often have a higher emotional intelligence than men. Not because they are innately that way, but simply because their relationship with their emotions has been nurtured, rather than discouraged.
We thought it was important to share this article, as it’s often the behaviours that we are unconscious of as parents that can have the most profound effect. The following are just a couple of points that the article touches on.
– We encourage and expect boys to express their emotions through what we say, but not necessarily how we say it. Whether we care to admit it or not, most parents will find that they use different language based on whether they are talking to a daughter or son.
– If we expect our sons to grow into emotionally mature adults, we must encourage them to explore their feelings by using emotionally charged language with them, the same way in which we naturally do for our daughters.