We all want children to read well and learn the fundamentals of math and sciences. But we should not disregard emotional intelligence. The advantages of learning during this first critical period of brain development should extend to interpersonal skills such as kindness, empathy, and teamwork.
Empathy begins with acknowledging one’s feelings. Helping children to label their emotions (“I feel sad”) and then tell the story about what made them feel that way (“I feel sad because I wanted ice cream and you said no”). Once children practice labeling emotions, educators can start asking questions that encourage them to consider others’ feelings.
One way to encourage care for others is to include children in what adults do for others. Even allowing young children to help with chores can make them more helpful and considerate people.
Emotional Intelligence (or EI) has the ability to:
- Recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and;
- Recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.
Managing emotions is especially important when:
- Giving and receiving feedback
- Meeting tight deadlines
- Dealing with challenging relationships
- Not having enough resources
- Navigating change
- Working through setbacks and failure
“Professor Scry has published four books, blogs about the importance of literature and the impacts reading makes on a child.”