A study conducted among 1.600 teenagers identified two traits that the emotionally stronger and intelligent ones had in common. These kids answered yes to these two statements:

1. I have parents that love me
2. I have parents that listen to me.

Thus, the study, which was conducted in Australia by Andrew Fuller, a renowned pediatric psychologist, revealed where the child’s emotional resistance comes from and what you, as a parent, have to offer him.

No matter how hard you try to protect him, at some point your child will be emotionally hurt: maybe he’ll be bullied at school by other children, or his friend will make fun of him because he doesn’t own the latest smartphone model. Kids can be pretty mean, and yours may suffer for reasons that may seem trivial for you. That’s why you need to teach him to be strong so he’ll be able to face challenges easier.

Here are 20 simple ways to raising an emotionally intelligent child:

1. Stop saying “I’m busy! I have things to do! I don’t have time right now”. For a child, love doesn’t mean gifts, it means time and attention.

2. Turn off your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, TV and spend some quality time with your child, the only way to achieve real communication.

3. Look him in the eye when you’re talking to him.

4. Really listen to him! Don’t interrupt him, be interested in what he says.

5. Don’t abandon story time before bed.

6. Be calm. Or promise yourself you’ll be calmer than you are now.

7. Spend some alone time with him, especially if there are other siblings in the house. The 1 on 1 moments are very important. Because when it comes to delicate subjects, it’s unlikely he’ll talk when there are other people present.

8. Offer him lots of hugs and kisses.

9. Smile every time he calls for you or when he asks you something.

10. Make time to do nothing. You all need to relax without any pressure from a schedule.

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11. When things are complicated, don’t overcomplicate them. If you have a child who cries nervously, stay calm. You won’t solve anything if you get angry. The same goes for situations when you encounter a difficult behavior from your child. You’re the adult and you have to be the one who brings maturity, skill and finesse to the table in such a situation.

12. Offer him freedom! If you go to a restaurant, let him order for himself. Encourage his independence and act more like a guide and a careful observer than a leader.

13. Write either affectionate or encouraging messages on small notes.

14. Play on the carpet, sit on the grass. The first and most important connection with the child is through play.

15. Keep all the gifts that you receive: from chestnuts, awkward greeting cards to flowers. Keep everything he gives you and put them somewhere where he can see them. He’ll feel like you appreciate him more.

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16. Tell him “I love you”. Don’t be afraid of these words and don’t feel embarrassed to express your feelings. After all, he’s your child and he deserves these words the most.

17. Show him that you love him.

18. Show him that you respect him.

19. Always be there for him, at any time.

20. Don’t yell at him, don’t punish him, don’t hurt him, and don’t offend him when he tells you that he did something.