4-year-old's emotional intelligence is off the charts and people are giving kudos to his mom
The bedtime conversation between Aldie and his mom is incredible to witness.
Some kids can wow us with their abilities, from being precocious philosophers to musical prodigies. Whether a child's extraordinary talents are due to "nature" or "nurture" is always a big question mark, but there's no question that some kids stand out among their peers for the things they can do.
Sometimes they even stand out from grownups. Take young Aldie, for example, whose ability to articulate his feelings exceeds many adults. When you find out he's barely 4 years old, hearing him calmly talk about his emotions and good choices is all the more remarkable.
Aldie's mom, Jonisa Padernos, tells Upworthy that she's felt he was "really special" since he started talking in full sentences at 20 months. "Believe it or not, he had no major tantrums in his toddler years because he was always able to express [himself] with his words," she says.
Padernos started young, asking Aldie questions and giving him time to answer without interrupting. "I’d always ask his opinion or feelings towards something and I don’t rush him to answer," she says. "I give him time and just listen. I make sure I also tell him how I feel and explain to him because I think kids copy us, and if we do that, they would think that it’s normal to feel all those emotions as long as you can express it with words and [are] able to process it."
Check out the conversation between Aldie and Padernos at bedtime as he goes through a recap of his emotions that day, which has racked up more than 17 million views on TikTok.
Bedtime conversation. The last part made me ❤️ #fyp #momlife
The way Aldie shared what he was feeling about his mom not letting him go outside, how he helped his papa make a better choice with his emotions, and how he described the different emotions he feels is more than most adults can muster when they've had "a hard time doing emotions" during the day. And the way Padernos listens and reflects and reassures him is so, so beautiful.
People in the comments agreed.
"Emotionally intelligent, articulate and able to string super sophisticated sentences together," wrote one commenter on Instagram. "I taught 7-year-olds that weren’t this advanced - heck, most adults aren’t this emotionally intelligent. I have confidence in his future and the consequences are working beautifully Mama. We have to raise kids other people will like too. 😍👏"
"Wowwwww….. I’m so amazed by this baby’s EVERYTHING … the emotional intelligence, the vocabulary, empathy, the processing skills…all of it! ❤️❤️❤️❤️" wrote another.
"The most mature conversation I’ve heard about emotions - tbh I don’t think I’ve ever been as honest about my feelings as this little one was 🙌🏽 feeling so inspired by both of them. ♥️🏽✨" shared another.
There's a lot that parents can do to help their children develop this kind of emotional intelligence, and this interaction between Aldie and his mom is a prime example.
"My advice is just be present, encourage kids to tell you how their day was or anything, listen and give them time to express without rushing," says Padernos. "Be patient, consistent and honest when communicating with them. Always remember that kids mirror us and so we have to show and express our emotions so they will be encouraged to also express their feelings to us. And when we get mad or frustrated, also let them know and explain why and apologize if you feel that you’ve let your emotions get in the way."
While not every child will be able to understand and articulate as clearly as Aldie did at such a young age, most kids are far more capable of understanding and processing emotion than we give them credit for. Proactively teaching them how to communicate what they're feeling and explaining how emotions work can go a long way toward helping them develop the self-regulation tools they'll use throughout their life.