Developing Emotionally Intelligent Children

emotional intelligence

What is Emotional Intelligence

You may have heard about IQ but what about EI? EI stands for emotional intelligence. It is the ability to express and control feelings. Let’s find out why developing emotionally intelligent children in early education is important. 

Journalist and Psychologist Daniel Goleman first coined the term Emotional Intelligence in his 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to monitor emotions and guide thinking and behavior. Emotions can impact our attention, memory, relationships and learning so is important in the early stages of education.

Emotional Intelligence is:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Control
  3. Self-motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Relationship skills

A major study shows children with these qualities are more successful in adulthood. In addition, experts suggest parents can teach Emotional Intelligence to their children by demonstrating they can manage emotions in everyday home life. Children with emotional intelligence and shown to be more engaged at school and even get higher grades.

Here are some tips for developing emotionally intelligent children:

Emotional training

Talk about feelings with your child. This will help them learn about the wide range of emotions humans experience. There are 6 basic emotions you can start with. They include: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise.

Rational thinking

Parents can turn problems into positive learning experiences. Treat issues as puzzles! This will promote rational thinking and encourage them to look at challenges as opportunities to grow and learn.

Encourage communication

Promote positive, open communication with your child so they learn the benefit of sharing ideas and feelings with others.

Teach values

Values create a sense of meaning and purpose in life. Emotionally intelligent children have strong values. They include, respect, kindness, integrity and trustworthiness. You can support your child’s emotional intelligence by encouraging these values in play and home life.

Remember, It’s okay to express emotions

Children are able to cope with tricky emotions if they can freely express their feelings. Parents can say something like, “your feelings matter.”

Meerilinga offers information to families who want to know more about how to manage emotions at home. If you want to learn more about managing emotional moments, come to our free workshop Toddlers and Tantrums, Handling Emotional Moments.