You just sat down after returning home from work and your child comes up to you, excitedly, to tell you something that happened at school. You are exhausted after a long workday and all you need is some silence, so you scold your child for disturbing you, and ask them to go back in their room and play quietly. You will deal with their excitement later. But, that ‘later’ never comes… tomorrow will be no different.


If you do this once in a way… it is exhaustion, if not, then it is a measure of your emotional quotient as a parent.

Parents with low emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) often don’t realise that they are neglecting their children’s emotions. Studies show that it can cause the child to grow up to be a person who lacks empathy, have low self-esteem, and have anxiety issues.


Gulf News spoke to two UAE-based mental health experts to find out what emotional intelligence is, how parents can self-identify whether they are emotionally unavailable, and how exactly it can affect their child.

What is emotional intelligence?

According to Zobia Amin, Clinical Psychologist at RAK (Ras Al Khaimah) Hospital: “Emotional intelligence is the way you handle your emotions and deal with situations in a positive way. It is the ability to understand a particular situation, empathise with other, communicate effectively and overcome the challenges using appropriate coping strategies to deal with the conflicts.”

How can a parent know if their emotional intelligence is low?

Explaining typical traits, Amin said: “Parents who have low emotional intelligence often find themselves stuck in situations where they are unable to understand or manage their own feelings and emotions. Or, they find themselves reacting instead of understanding the child’s perspective.

“Emotionally unavailable parents are unable to maintain healthy relations with the child – avoiding them, not sitting with them, and not having the patience to attend to their emotional needs. They show no interest towards knowing how the child’s day was. They expect silence and want their child to be quiet, as they had a long exhausting day almost every day.”

Published:  September 20, 2022 |