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Why is EQ as important as your child’s IQ?

EQ – ability to handle your emotions intelligently

Today’s generation, undoubtedly is extremely intelligent, creative, logical and practical. Every generation is smarter than its previous counterparts. This is called the Flynn Effect.

Emotional Intelligence – What is it?

While, IQ is the measurement of a child’s intelligence, EQ is for emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence may be defined as the ability of a person to understand and respond to one’s own and others’ emotions and use this ability to guide one’s thoughts and actions. Emotional intelligence is essential for all human interactions. The ‘emic’ (the inner aspect) perspective of emotional intelligence helps a person understand and regulate their own emotions and use them for effective human interactions. The ‘etic’ (the outer aspect) perspective of EI helps them relate to the emotions, empathize and respond to the emotions of others. Both these perspectives are essential for effective human interaction. Thus, aiding in overall success.

EQ important in a child’s life

Having a great IQ score alone doesn’t take a child to leading a rather successful life. Factors like EQ, social status, wealth, temperament tolerance, self-realization and social acceptance too, play crucial roles. Thus, our emotional feelings and how we handle them are undoubtedly significant in a child’s milestone. Every child, right from a tender age needs to be nurtured with this ability and constantly trained to handle the subtle inner emotions.

According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author of the New York Times bestseller Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence: The EQ theory comprises five core components: empathy, effective communication or social skills, self-awareness, self-regulation, and motivation. It doesn’t take much to analyse, identify and implement these components in one’s life.

Signs of a higher EQ child

1. Communicating effectively: A child is able to communicate his/her feelings to the classmates and the teachers in order to express the emotions. Communicating in a very positive vocabulary keeping the integrity of the environment they are in.

2. Adaptability: Being quick to accept any positive changes at school or at home.

3. Socialising: Active participation in the academics and non-academic curriculum.

4. Empathy: Showing concern and providing support to friends and sibling is a great sign of high EQ.

5. Self-awareness and self-motivation: Being aware of one’s strengths and weakness while making efforts to improvise, so as to become the best version of oneself.

For example, well-developed EQ is personified in the student who can manage their time to complete homework assignments, study for tests, handle an impulsive classmate, show progressive growth academically; all while successfully juggling multiple family and peer relationships.

Role of parents in building stronger EQ in your child

Parents need to identify and understand the child’s emotions

Parents should also take a close look at their own emotional intelligence, says May Duong, director of parent education for Six Seconds. “It starts with our own self-awareness,” Children have greater visual impact of their parents’ behaviour.

Modelling emotional intelligence begins at home

1. Identify Your Parenting Style

2. Be Aware of Your Child's Emotions.

3. Take Time for Teaching and Observing Emotions in Day-to-Day Life.

4. Listen, Validate, and Label Moods and Emotions.

5. Assist in Problem-Solving.

6. Focus on positive emotions rather than negative ones.

7. Appreciate, rewards and recognise the efforts taken by a child to grow emotionally strong.

8. Update yourself about the child’s behaviour at school.

9. Chart down pointers to help the child deal with emotions

10. Positive affirmations both verbal and visual can go a great way in enhancing a child’s EQ

Today’s take away

· EQ is as important as IQ

· While, EQ could be genetical, it can be trained with a few extra efforts.

· Constant evaluation of a child’s emotional behaviour could be of great help.

· Games, toys, puzzles activities and exercises are in abundance both online and offline to help your children grow emotionally strong. Quality time is the key.

· At home, at school and at play, the very basic step towards building an emotionally intelligent child is to create a safe space in which kids feel supported and free to express their emotions.

To be honest, there are so many activities, games, exercises, and more to help kids develop EQ. So, at the very broadest level, try picking an approach that is neither too challenging nor too easy as to bore. If this sounds a little like the Zone of Proximal Development, that’s because it is (Vygotsky, 1978)



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