Year Two-Post 15 | What is Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to control the emotions of self, others and of groups. Some professionals consider it a part of intelligence, which includes the ability to understand, communicate, reason, learn, plan, problem solve and think abstractly. There is still criticism as to whether emotional intelligence is a skill or a representation of a personality trait. Child educators feel that if a child doesn’t have the emotional intelligence to carry out his cognitive skills, that academic success is limited. This is the case in a child who is diagnosed with autism. He may have excellent memory, music or mathematical skills, but if he isn’t able to socialize in a manner that allows him to portray this information, it is useless.
Take for example that a parent will sacrifice themselves to save their child. This is the result of altruistic love. Our emotions allows us to survive danger, understand painful loss, and build family and community ties. We have to control our own emotions when angry, jealous, fearful or in love. We also have to understand the feelings of others and how to respond accordingly.
So, it is important that a child be able to identify and label his feelings, express, his feelings, manage his feelings, delay gratification, control impulses, reduce stress and be able to know the difference between feelings and actions.
Remember that a child is the result of “nature” and “nurture.” He inherits personality traits, but it is the role of the caregiver to nurture him to use his social skills to the best of his ability. In other words, you as the parent, increase his emotional intelligence.
If you aren’t sure how to increase your child’s emotional intelligence, refer to My Baby Compass, Birth to Two, Two to Four, or Four to Seven to give you activities and ideas.
– Kathryn Thorson Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series