Emotional Intelligence recognizes that math, reading and spelling are not the only important lessons for children to learn. Human science researchers, and parents who value secure, well-adjusted children, believe that emotional intelligence assists children to grow into a functioning and responsible adult. A child taught about their emotional self has a greater chance of living a safe and ethical life, free from being abused or becoming an abuser.
The Tenets of Emotional Intelligence Include:
• Recognizing and understanding your feelings and using them to make life decisions you can live with.
• Being able to manage your emotional life without being hijacked by it — not being controlled by depression or worry, or swept away by anger.
• Persisting in the face of setbacks and managing your emotional and behavioral impulses in order to pursue your goals.
• Empathy — reading other people’s emotions without their having to tell you what they are feeling.
• Handling feelings in relationships with skill and harmony — being able to speak the hidden feelings behind behaviors in any group situation, for example.
Teaching our children Emotional Intelligence is partly about developing their awareness and vocabulary of, the myriad of feelings that we all have. In our language, there are over 2000 words that explain feelings but typically, any of us will only ever use six feeling words to describe what is happening inside our body and soul. The six feeling words that we do use generally fall into three sets of opposites: hot/cold, happy/sad, and good/awful.
Limited sets of feeling words place us at a disadvantage to clearly convey what it is that we are feeling. Our children rely on us to educate them. If adults use so few feeling words, how can children learn a greater vocabulary to express their feelings?
Intuition and early warning signs are a basis for introducing feeling words to children and matching the right word to how their body is reacting. By using the play activities described in a related article on intuition, you are able to build up your child’s emotional intelligence and encourage development on a daily basis.
Over the last week, we’ve looked at the Cycle of Violence. The cycle relies on actions that trick people into staying trapped as a victim of a distinct pattern of abusive behaviors. The players caught in the cycle, may have thoughts and feelings that are never articulated. To break the cycle it is important to be able to clearly state how you are feeling in a way that is least likely to escalate abuse to your self.
The formula for clear communication is:
I feel… (affect),
when you… (behavior),
While this sounds easy, it can be very difficult to do unless a person has the correct feeling word to match what is happening at an emotional level. Therefore, it is important that we put as much effort into developing emotional recognition and learning as we do into academic learning.
How’s your understanding of yourself and your emotions? Take a fun, free Emotional Intelligence test from Queendom and see how you score.