Emotional Intelligence: How Can It Improve My Child’s Life?

October 11, 2016

When it comes to the development of your child as a person, how important are emotions? Did you know that teaching your child to be aware of their emotions contributes to their overall success in life?

Emotional Intelligence or EQ, contributes towards relationships, health and overall quality of life, it helps children do better in education and make healthier choices.

In this article, we’ll take a look at ways parents, teachers and child care workers can be aware of EQ, and play a part in helping to develop emotional awareness.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

One of the foremost authorities on EQ is Daniel Goldman, an internationally known psychologist. In the video above he defined the term saying

“Emotional Intelligence refers to how we manage ourselves, and how we manage ourselves, how self-aware we are, how motivated we are, whether we can handle distressing feelings effectively, how empathic we are, how well we can tune into other people, how socially skilled and abled we are. That’s what emotional intelligence means.”

Dr. Goldman further spoke on developing EQ from an early age saying

“I think that good parenting means helping the child feel that they’re cared about, tuned into, empathized with, and any good parent does that. But if you have that base, that secure base, then you can care about other people, then you can manage yourself better. So I think that parents are the first tutor in emotional intelligence.

Nurturing Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence

When it comes to EQ, there are some ways that you can help your child develop their emotions effectively.

1. Perspective

One of the best things that parents and child care workers can do is empathize with their child’s feelings from an early age. You don’t always have to agree, but understand their perspective. Children will develop empathy after positively receiving it from their parents or those who care for them.

2. Expression

Allow them to express themselves in a healthy and safe way.

3. Listen

When you listen to their feelings, this helps a child heal. Emotions often get stuck inside and children don’t have healthy ways of expressing them. This can result in tantrums of violence.

4. Work Through It

Allow your child or permit them to work through some of their problems. This will allow them or provide them with the opportunity to handle their problems and learn how to work through them. EQ teaches kids to look for solutions to their problems.

5. Play

Activities or role play can play a huge role in emotional intelligence. Children often feel negative feelings like fear or anger. A game will give them a chance to exhibit power or change roles.

Education and Social Emotional Learning

Some schools have integrated Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) into their teaching methodology, which improves grades and promotes healthy behaviors such as kindness, sharing, and empathy.

Educators and those who work in academic environments can help students with Social and Emotional Learning in five areas.

1. Self Awareness — Understand emotions, goals, and values

2. Self Management — Understand skills that help students regulate their emotions

3. Awareness — This will enable a student to empathize with others and appreciate their feelings

4. Relationship Skills — Negotiating conflict constructively and seek help

5. Responsible Decision Making — This teaches children to make intelligent and constructive choices

The Importance of Social and Emotional Learning for Young Students

In the video above, Susan Meehan, a 1st-grade teacher talked about the importance of social emotional learning saying

“Social emotional learning is an essential piece of the child’s ability to function in a school setting. They’re being asked to integrate the conversations in ways that are not natural to them, they’re asked to sit closely to someone then they might choose too. They need to function in a social setting in order to learn their academics, the children need to see it and hear it in many, many different ways.”

Social and Emotional Learning: Implementation

There are several ways that schools and child care centers can successfully implement SEL

1. Environment

Academic planners should look at an infrastructure that can support SEL. This will require goals and possibly codes of conduct that are respected.

2. Assessment

If SEL is introduced into an environment, it should be done so gradually and periodically reviewed for success.

3. Life Habits and Values

Schools should have values that are respected

4. Practice SEL

Planners and educators have to find ways for students to actually engage in SEL activities.

5. Improve Faculty

SEL must be implemented into the standards and faculty must be educated on SEL best practices.

Parents Need to Take the Lead

Parents who are positive, optimistic and relaxed often set the best example.

As mentioned earlier, parents take the lead in teaching emotional intelligence. Parents should identify and acknowledge feelings of others while communicating effectively and seek positive solutions. Keep in mind, your children will often follow your actions instead of what you say.

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