The What and Why Behind Emotional Intelligence

Are you aware of your emotions? How are you handling them? How do we effectively teach our children to do the same?

Emotional intelligence is the ability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others. It is knowing how to discern between different feelings and the capability to express how you feel. Emotional intelligence helps prepare children for multiple aspects of their lives. As they continue to grow within their academic careers, they will be expected to engage in many different social interactions, work in groups, and build relationships. Stress and mental health are factors that can be reduced by having emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can help individuals be more attentive to positive emotions which as a result can allow beneficial responses to stress. This creates resilience amongst children and an understanding of their emotions as well as emotional management.

There are five parts to emotional intelligence. These include self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, social skills, and motivation.

Self-awareness is the ability to know one’s emotions, strengths/weaknesses, drives, as well as their effect on others.

Self-regulation is the capacity to manage our emotional state, and the ability to think before acting.

Empathy is the ability to understand and appreciate the emotions, needs, and concerns of others, and use them to guide our behavior.

Social skills are proficiency in managing relationships, finding common ground, and building rapport.

Motivation is a passion and persistence that guides and facilitates reaching goals.

A few ways to build emotional intelligence amongst children include labeling your child’s emotions, teaching feeling words, showing empathy, and modeling appropriate ways to express feelings.

Teaching and modeling emotional intelligence as a parent or caretaker is necessary to build positive relationships with our children and our own communities. It is our responsibility to support children throughout their developmental processes. This is true not only through their academic learning but also through their social and emotional learning. Elements of emotional intelligence such as empathy, self-awareness, and mindfulness are necessary as parents and caretakers to recognize our own biases, limitations, as well as strengths. These can help contribute back to the communities we serve.

5 thoughts on “The What and Why Behind Emotional Intelligence”

  1. This is such a great article! In my experience working with children, I have found that so many lack the ability to understand their emotions and how to cope with them in a healthy way. Thank you for putting this information out for parents and teachers to read!

  2. This is great info!!! to be able to help prepare our children with multiple aspects of their lives. To be able to build positive relationships with them!!!

  3. I think that this is a great article. I think teaching a child their emotions & being a model to them has a huge impact on their lives when they grow up.

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