Why We Need to Teach Kids Emotional Intelligence

February 23, 2019

Quote of the Week

"Self-awareness is not an attention that gets carried away by emotions, overreacting and amplifying what is perceived. Rather, it is a neutral mode that maintains self-reflectiveness even amidst turbulent emotions." --Daniel Goleman

Why We Need To Teach Kids Emotional Intelligence

"As parents, when we don’t have a healthy way of handling emotions ourselves, we have trouble teaching our kids to handle theirs. That is why the change starts with us. Fortunately, all five components of emotional intelligence can be taught and learned at any age. There are many tools and techniques that can help us and our children start to identify and understand the emotions of ourselves and others. This process begins with recognition, because it’s only when we notice where we’re at that we’re able to shift ourselves to where we want to be. When we acknowledge the profound influence of emotions in our lives, we inspire a new attitude toward self-awareness and mental health. We can then start to ask broader questions, like how can we create a movement to increase the emotional intelligence of future generations?" [read more]

Reading Corner

Title: I Am So Angry, I Could Scream: Helping Children Deal with Anger (Let's Talk)
Author: Laura Fox , Chris Sabatino
Age: 4-8

“I Am So Angry, I Could Scream both entertains and instructs children, teaching them the skills they need to understand and resolve their angry feelings through positive behaviors so that they grow into caring, emotionally healthy adults.” --Publisher

Title : Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child The Heart of Parenting
Author: John Gottman , Joan Declaire
Stage: Any

“Every parent knows the importance of equipping children with the intellectual skills they need to succeed in school and life. But children also need to master their emotions. Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child is a guide to teaching children to understand and regulate their emotional world. And as acclaimed psychologist and researcher John Gottman shows, once they master this important life skill, emotionally intelligent children will enjoy increased self-confidence, greater physical health, better performance in school, and healthier social relationships.” --Publisher

Be the Change

"So you want to raise an emotionally intelligent child and and you're wondering where to begin? Start with these five steps.

1. Acknowledge your child’s perspective and empathize.

Even if you can't "do anything" about your child's upsets, empathize. Just being understood helps humans let go of troubling emotions.

2. Allow expression

Little ones can't differentiate between their emotions and their "selves." Accept your child’s emotions, rather than denying or minimizing them, which gives children the message that some feelings are shameful or unacceptable.

3. Listen to your child’s feelings.

Remember, rage doesn't begin to dissipate until it feels heard. Whether your child is 6 months or sixteen, she needs you to listen to the feelings she’s expressing. Once she feels and expresses them, she’ll let them go and get on with her life. In fact, you’ll be amazed at how affectionate and cooperative she’ll be once she has a chance to show you how she feels. But to feel safe letting those feelings up and out, she needs to know you’re fully present and listening.

4. Teach problem solving

Emotions are messages, not mud for wallowing. Teach your child to breathe through them, feel them, tolerate them without needing to act on them, and, once they aren’t in the grip of strong emotion, to problem-solve and act if necessary.

5. Play it out

When you notice a negative pattern developing, recognize that your child has some big feelings she doesn’t know how to handle, and step in with the best medicine: Play." [read more]