Teaching your tot to trust and listen

You’ll raise a confident grown-up when you nurture your little one’s 7 top emotional values.


As your baby grows, you start to teach him the alphabet by reciting its letters to him. Before you know it, he’ll be saying a few words, then stringing sentences together. But long before your baby starts to speak, you’re already teaching him all about language.

            You’ll also be teaching him about emotions and how to express those: The way you always mumble under your breath when the house is a mess, or when you let out a curse word when you spill gravy on your top.

            While you feed his Intelligence Quotient (IQ), it’s also important to nurture junior’s Emotional Quotient (EQ) in order to raise a confident, mature adult. Daniel Koh, a psychologist at Insights Mind Centre, notes that a child with EQ has skills to deal with emotional stresses, challenges in life, as well as show empathy towards another person’s situation. So, here are the 7 Most Valued Values…

1) Trust

When you raise your child in a trusting environment that provides comfort, safety and security, you’re showing him how to develop such relationships, Koh notes. So, gestures like sticking to your word and listening to your tot will develop his trust and, therefore, his confidence. Koh adds, “Model trusting behaviour and believe your child.” Once he’s learnt to trust you, he’ll be able to trust his surroundings and respond in a positive manner.

“If you shield your child from disappointments, he’ll keep repeating the same mistakes.”


2) Curiosity

If your tot is at least 18 months, you’ll be familiar with his constant “why” questions — “Why do I have to wear shoes?” and after you answer, he’ll probably ask, “But why is the floor dirty? What makes it dirty?” and so on. Notes Joanne Mallon, who wrote Toddlers: An Instruction Manual ($21.99, from www. bookdepository.com), “It can be tedious when your child asks ‘why’ for the billionth time. But this is how he explores the world.” Encourage his exploratory streak by not only answering him, but taking an interest in whatever he’s fascinated with. “The best way to encourage a sense of adventure in your child is to have one yourself,” Mallon advises.

3) Empathy

Your tot’s whole life has been about him — his mealtimes and toys, so it can be hard for him to empathise when another toddler is crying for the same thing. “Empathy is tough for a toddler, since he is hard-wired to see himself as the centre of his world,” Mallon says. “But if you show empathetic behaviour, he will eventually understand.” Guide him on ways to express what he feels, such as, “I am upset because Adrian took my toy.” Then ask him how he can move past his negative feelings to feel better. Once he’s done this enough times, he’ll be better able to empathise.

Photo: INGimage