The education of children covers many different aspects, but today we are going to focus on Emotional Intelligence. What is emotional intelligence? Why does your son or daughter need to learn about it? How can you develop it? What benefits will it have in your future? We are going to answer all these questions.
Normally, when we want to know how smart we are, we go for an intelligence test that evaluates our Intellectual Quotient (IQ). However, scientists discovered that there is not a single one, as Howard Gardner describes in his theory of multiple intelligences.
What is emotional intelligence?
Daniel Goleman was the journalist who popularized the term Emotional Intelligence, coined by researchers Peter Salavoy and John Mayer. But what is Emotional Intelligence and why is it so important to teach and empower it from an early age? It is about the ability to recognize, understand and control one’s emotions.
Not all decisions made in life are based on purely rational foundations. For example, nobody chooses their partner for objective reasons, but it is the emotions that matter most. That is why it is important that children are educated from a young age and thus be able to make the best decisions in their future.
Childhood is a perfect moment when teaching skills and abilities and that they develop them as they grow. In addition, it is a time of life in which emotions take a big role, so it is important that they know how to deal with them.
How to start teaching Emotional Intelligence to your children?
The first thing to get a good Emotional Intelligence is to recognize the basic emotions, and that can be done with children from 2 years old, showing them pictures of sad, angry or happy people. This is the start to develop good empathy.
Once they know how to identify those emotions in others, the next step is to do it with themselves. When they get angry, be sad or start crying, ask them what’s wrong and invite them to express it out loud. That is why it is essential that the family has good communication and that the child feels comfortable talking about these issues.
The next step is to know how to deal with those emotions. For example, when the child is in a tantrum, you have to explain that it is not okay for him to scream or break things, but he has to learn to control himself and explain why he is angry and look for a solution.
Develop empathy with Emotional Intelligence
Within Emotional Intelligence, children also have to learn to value the people around them and their emotions and develop empathy properly. Therefore, when they make someone feel bad, they must understand what they have done and ask them how they think others feel about it. In short, to learn that other people also have the same emotions as them.
In their relationships with others, we must encourage active listening and teach them to keep quiet when another person talks and concentrate on what they say, not continually thinking about what they are going to say afterwards and not paying attention to what they are saying.
In short, the Emotional Intelligence is a basic skill to know how to control our own emotions and also to face those of others. That is why it is important that, from a very young age, children are educated in this type of intelligence, since it will be of great help during their growth. And it is important that all the people around you educate them in the same way, from the teachers in your school to if you have a nanny.
Until next week!