There was a time when intelligence was assessed only by a person’s cognitive abilities such as their vocabulary, reading comprehension, retention, reasoning and math skills, better known as their IQ level.
Having a high Intelligence Quotient (IQ) was seen as the single most important predictor of how successful a child would be in the future. Children with high IQs were thought to be destined for a life of accomplishment and achievement.
However, all of this changed in 1955 when psychologist Daniel Goleman published his book Emotional Intelligence which suggested that intelligence was broader than just assessing someone’s cognitive abilities. Although an IQ level can be useful to determine how well a person can handle mental complexities, it is NOT the sole guarantor of a successful life. Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ), on the other hand, may play more of a vital role in how well you thrive in life and how happy you are ultimately.
What Does It Mean To Be Emotionally Intelligent?
Emotionally intelligent people pay more attention to their feelings and are self-aware to recognize their own moods and also how others feel. They tend to think before they impulsively act on their emotions and they are highly motivated to achieve their goals. Emotional intelligence has been linked to job success, better interpersonal relationships and the ability to handle stress.
While those who have higher IQs have better working memory and short-term memory, are able to reason better, and can plan and strategize better. They tend to show better academic and job performance and have higher salaries.
Both types of intelligence should be enhanced to ensure a happier, more successful life.
5 Ways to raise your child’s emotional intelligence
The need to develop emotional intelligence starts at an early age when children are just beginning to recognize their own emotions.
Research shows that children who are taught how to understand their feelings, self-regulate their emotions and express themselves are more prone to enjoy better physical and mental health. And, they are also more likely to continue to use those coping skills as they get older.
When children learn to be aware of their feelings and how to manage them, they form better relationships with others, have good academic performance and are less anxious and depressed when dealing with tough situations.
- Teach empathy by being empathetic yourself. When you show empathy towards your child by listening to them, this builds trust and teaches them to express their difficult emotions.
- Help your kids learn vocabulary to express their feelings. Sometimes children have difficulty sharing their feelings because they simply don’t know how. Help your child learn vocabulary for their emotions so they are able to name and express what they are experiencing.
- Don’t punish, dismiss or scold your child for being emotional. Children are humans and they have the right to be emotional. As parents, we should take it as an opportunity for connection with our kids.
- Use story-telling. Telling your children stories can help them become better acquainted with social interaction and enable them to make better sense of real-life situations.
- Develop problem-solving skills. After children learn how to label and manage their emotions, they should learn how to solve problems independently. You can help them by identifying the problem and brainstorm ways with them on how to solve that problem.
What You Can Do Next
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About the Founder
Internationally Recognised Emotional Literacy & Mindfulness Expert Tenille Bentley is the founder of The Emotional Literacy and Mindfulness Academy and the author of the children’s emotional literacy books with Jazzy and Pinky and The Energy Ball. Giving children a wonderful introduction to understanding their emotions and what do with them.
Tenille has been featured on Channel 9 News and other major outlets. Her work has been recognised in the community by The Governor of Western Australia, The Prime Minister of Australia and Australian Financial Review.
As a child she experienced severe anxiety and emotional traumas as well as bullying which left her feeling isolated, and unable to understand why she was feeling the way she did. As an adult this impacted her ability to make healthy decisions because she didn’t have the tools to understand her emotions.
Which is why she is passionate about equipping parents with the tools to support their children to make better decisions in life and healthy ones to help support and create a balanced home life.