What is emotional intelligence? And do I have it? I have been reading a lot about teaching emotional intelligence to your children. I wonder if I taught my children emotional intelligence. My tween makes me think that I might have gone too far or maybe not done enough. One minute he is happy, the next he is miserable. He could possibly be more miserable with sprinkles of happy. He is bringing me back to his toddler years. At times I feel like I cannot take one more minute of his mouth. I want to take off my dirty sock and shove it in his mouth. Right now, he is complaining how his day is going poorly because his fork fell out of the cup, he haphazardly put it in. He already knows everything in life and there is nothing I can teach him. So my Mom role is over, right? Except I have a four-year-old, that according to him like more than him. Then an hour later he says, “Let’s have a good day today”. Shake my head, I think I’m going through puberty with him.
I think all these emotions might not bother me so much if my oldest son, Quincy, had not committed suicide or that my late husband, his dad, had not died when he was 2. I have a constant war going on in my head about how to treat him. I want to be strict, but then I want to give in. Maybe this would be the same if we hadn’t experienced the loss in our life.
Going back to emotional intelligence. I wonder if I taught Quincy emotional intelligence and if the lack of it caused him to decide to commit suicide. I had drilled into them to identify the emotion they were feeling. After my late husband was killed, I even took them to a counselor that worked with them further with identifying emotions. However, I always butted in when deciding what to do or how to react with those emotions. I cannot tell you how many times I reacted with…that’s nothing to be sad about, just shake it off, it could be worse, etc. Maybe I should have talked it out a little more with him letting him come up with his own conclusion. That day he was dealing with heartache, over a girl, he just finished watching 13 Reasons Why, researched the afterlife that morning and thought it was his best choice. I retraced his steps that morning over and over. I’ve tried to put myself in his shoes and it always brings me to that moment of opening his closed door, turning to see him sitting there with the gun in his hand, blood spattered, sitting next to him rubbing his cold leg, screaming. I’m not sure why I never hugged him, I’m upset with myself for not hugging him. All I could do is stare at him looking for signs of life and rubbing his leg. I can’t remember if I hugged him that morning before I left for work. I guess I am upset with myself for a lot of things, like not monitoring what he was watching. He had watched all, but one episode and I did not even know it. Maybe I should have sat down with him more often to discuss his options with is emotions. I did too much dictating…
We learn some of this from our own parents and no matter how hard we strive to do things different, it does not always work. There was little to no emotional intelligence in the home I grew up in. How many times did I hear, stop crying, get over it and the classic one, suck it up. I still feel uncomfortable crying, even by myself. I think I am weak when I do. I cannot tell you how confusing that is as a child or even as an adult. To not have what you are feeling validated and being told that what you are feeling is wrong. Creating disbelief of our own emotions and wondering what we are right about. These create lies about us that we make in our heads. After awhile you don’t hear those lies but create a false self. We become our lies and make them our truths. No wonder why society is so confused these days.
I want a parent handbook. I used to be such a confident Mom. I was really good at being a Mom, maybe not the number one wife, but really made up for it being a Mom. After Quincy shot himself, I began questioning my Mom ability. Now my confidence has drained. I’ve began telling myself what I can and cannot do. Likely creating this false Mom impression of myself. I have even lost the confidence I had with other children. I love kids, I could have been the next 19 and counting. Except not being able to afford it. I guess I am at a point where I am trying to learn to be a confident Mom again. Maybe not the best timing with a tween, which makes you question each decision. I have never taken the easy path, normally the path less taken, so wishing myself luck.