Etikid Matters: Helping Kids Use Their Heads and Hearts
Building Social and Emotional Intelligence
Parent Tip of the Day:
When it comes to demonstrating good manners, many of us teach children that there are two magic words/phrases: “Please” and “Thank you.”
The Girls Rule! Etiquette Imperative would like propose adding two more phrases to this list: “Hello” and “Good-bye.”
During our etiquette classes, we teach children to acknowledge adults and children when entering and leaving a room. Practicing this common courtesy not only enhances their emotional intelligence, it demonstrates a sense of value and respect toward others. Mastery of these valuable life-skills significantly enhance a child’s ability to experience positive social interactions and contribute to successful academic and career achievements.
What is social and emotional intelligence and why is it important?
Social and emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, navigate and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. These social and emotional skills are grounded in the ability to be self-aware, to demonstrate empathy, to manage ones emotions and to successfully manage conflict and relationships with peers and family members. Studies show that ones EQ (social and emotion IQ) is the best predictor of a child’s future achievement; better than any other single factor. EQ is a better predictor of success than IQ and technical skills combined.
How can you enhance your child’s EQ?
Parents play a vital and sometimes overlooked role in the overall social and emotional development of their children. A few of the ways in which parents may help children to enhance their EQ include:
- Starting early! The earlier you begin to teach your children to empathize with others and to recognize their own feelings and the feelings of others the better.
- Be a role model. Embody kind consideration for others and be aware of how you deal with conflict. They are watching you for social queues.
- Create opportunities between you and your child which involves talking about feelings; describe your feelings out loud; ask how your kids feel; teach your child that he/she can have two feelings at the same time.
- Look for teachable moments that occur naturally in your day-to-day life, moments that enable you to discuss moods, conflict resolution or managing feelings with your child.
- Be aware that you can teach emotional competency through personal stories, current events, discussions of movies or web sites. Recognize and talk about pro-social and unintelligent social and emotional behaviors from these media.
- Sign-up your child for a for a social and communication etiquette class in your community. It’s helpful for your child to discuss sticky situations and learn to master these valuable life skills with their peers. It doesn’t hurt to have a professional reinforce what you’ve taught them while also expanding their skills.
It is crucial to provide children with an environment that allows them to develop their social and emotional skills. An atmosphere that provides support for one’s social and emotional learning and competence versus one that does not can make a huge difference in that child’s life. The difference,is equal to the difference in the outcome of throwing seeds on cement versus planting seeds in enriched soil. And what a difference that is!