Emotional Intelligence (EQ): WHY EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE SKILLS SHOULD BE TAUGHT TO CHILDREN, AND HOW
Ben Wind & Amelia Attwood
Over 43% of children requesting mental health services through the NHS are unable to access them due to services being too overwhelmed to offer the support they need1. The current Coronavirus Pandemic has had a negative impact on the lives children . Children are cut off from friends, activities and normal life and are especially vulnerable to the effects of the Coronavirus2. It is more important than ever to teach ourselves and our children about our emotions and the skills needed to regulate them.
HOW DO OUR EMOTIONS INFLUENCE OUR BEHAVIOUR?
Emotions have a lot of power to dictate our actions. Some are helpful, others are not.
A child who gets embarrassed because
they do not understand their school lesson may instinctively decide to withdraw from class and stay silent because they feel different from their peers. In doing so, they have found a short-term solution to their problem that reinforces their fear response. Unfortunately, this short-term solution only serves to broaden the perceived and actual gap between the child and the students who understand (or seem to understand) the lesson.
External threats result in the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. This directs the body's rapid involuntary response to dangerous or stressful situations. Also known as;
Fight, Flight, Freeze, Feign.
The 5 aspects of Emotional Intelligence
Self-awareness - Recognising emotions while it happens
Self-regulation - Having control over your emotions
Internal Motivation - Drive towards self-fulfilling goals
Empathy - Understanding others
Social Skills - Friendliness with a purpose.
Noticing and managing these emotions before they bubble-over is part of emotional intelligence.
HOW DO WE BECOME EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT?
Becoming emotionally intelligent is not difficult, but it does take regular practice.
Being able to notice and identify your emotions enables you to learn and utilise strategies for bringing your heart and brain back into a coherent rhythm is crucial.
How Doctor Ana Solutions Can Help
The Balancing Heart and Mind Programme is delivered live and online with clear and effective ways to empower and you and your children. Teaching them skills to regulate their emotions, work towards improving communication and decision-making skills so they can handle everything life throws at them with confidence, resilience and compassion.
References and Attributions:
2) Holmes, E A et al (2020) Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science (PDF). Lancet Psychiatry
Gardner H (1983). Frames of mind. New York: Basic Books.
3) Goleman D (1996). Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-38371-3.
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