Can I Teach EQ to My Child?

While some kids may be more attuned to their emotions than others, all children need some help with the development of their emotional intelligence. The following steps can help you teach your kids how to deal with their emotions, laying the groundwork for the challenges that adulthood will inevitably bring.

The idea of emotional intelligence is a little more than a decade old. Put forward by eminent psychologist Daniel Goleman in 1995, the EQ is a much more comprehensive and wholesome way through which you can gauge the emotional maturity and growth of a child.

While the intelligence quotient or IQ measures only the faculty of intelligence, EQ is much more thorough in its analysis of children’s development. Moreover, it is possible to work on building emotional intelligence for kids that improves the chances of a happier and more successful life as an adult.

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What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence refers to the capability of an individual that allows them to have an effective handle on their emotions. It includes the ability to identify emotions, be it their own or anybody else’s, and express them in a way that allows them to handle relationships with other people in an appropriate manner. The ability to generate empathy for others is also an important characteristic of the emotional intelligence of a person.

The concept and the term itself was first coined by Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, in his book published in 1995 and is closely linked with terms such as emotional quotient or EQ, emotional leadership or EL and Emotional Intelligence Quotient or EIQ. Goleman presents EQ as the key to succeeding in personal and professional lives and said that emotional intelligence was twice as important as the intelligence quotient, and accounts for 67% of the qualities needed for superior performance in leaders.

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According to Daniel Goleman, there are five key elements to EQ:

  • Self-awareness.
  • Self-regulation.
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social skills.

It is in everyone’s best interest that your child develops his emotional intelligence as he or she grows up. Children are in the developmental stage of their lives and building emotional intelligence for kids and teaching them how to get a hold of their emotions from the very beginning can help how they process the world as adults. As children grow, their emotional intelligence becomes associated with motivation and self-regulation. With a higher EQ, a child is more likely to pursue goals and solve issues, and cope with stress in a better manner. This more than explains why you should focus on the emotional intelligence for kids.

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EQ versus IQ

Daniel Goleman’s book that first familiarized the world with the concept of EQ did so in a book called Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, published in 1995. The very conception of the idea of emotional intelligence was intertwined with the idea of intelligence quotient, and as Goleman argues, helps us better gauge a person. Here are a few ways in which EQ is better than IQ:

  • IQ measures only the intelligence of a child whereas EQ measures their emotional capabilities.
  • IQ is mostly restricted to the academic and professional sphere whereas a strong EQ indicates that a child is more capable of dealing with situations.
  • While IQ is a static figure, EQ can change with the right kind of attention and care.

How to measure EQ in a child?

According to studies worldwide, the emotional intelligence of children is steadily declining and more care needs to be given to the development of emotional intelligence for kids. While IQ testing analyses the cognitive abilities of a child, be it testing his or her vocabulary, reasoning, retention and comprehension, emotional intelligence test may slightly differ.

An EQ test focuses on the emotional literacy if a child and whether or not they are able to identify and express their emotions, motivation and empathy. Most progressive schools of today get an EQ test of pupils to get a read on their emotional faculties. But a test may be recommended to anyone who is struggling with society.

Just as in an IQ test, the results of an emotional intelligence test are scored. A score of 115 is outstanding, a 100 is alright and 85 indicates that some work is needed for building emotional intelligence for kids.

Build Emotional Intelligence in Children

Knowing all the facts about EQ, any responsible parent would wish to focus on building emotional intelligence for kids. Luckily for them, EQ is not static unlike IQ. Here are a few ways in which you can enhance the emotional intelligence of your child-

Help your child identify emotions

Emotional literacy is the very basis of emotional intelligence development. This is the part where you teach your child correctly identify their emotions and take ownership of their feelings. Emotional literacy also includes teaching kids how to correctly express what they are feeling with due consideration to how it might affect others.

Talk about how you feel

A lesson in emotions cannot be on paper only. If you encourage your kids to express their feelings to you, you will also have to reciprocate to show them that it is normal. Being involved in interpersonal relationships is an important part of building emotional intelligence for kids.

Discuss the changing moods and vibes

The mood of any setting is subject to change. Even within the familiarity of home, the mood and atmosphere may change. Make your child aware of these subtle shifts in order to enhance his emotional development.

Try and help children recognize the mood in a particular setting

Once your child knows how to identify the vibe of a place, encourage him to do it someplace other than home.

Conclusion

While some kids may be more attuned to their emotions than others, all children need some help with the development of their emotional intelligence. These steps can help you teach your kids how to deal with their emotions, laying the groundwork for the challenges that adulthood will inevitably bring.

References

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ By Daniel Goleman

Measuring Emotional Intelligence of School Children – A Pilot Study, Jan 2018

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/compassion-matters/201603/why-we-need-teach-kids-emotional-intelligence.