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Teaching Emotional Intelligence

By Mofoluwake Omololu on October 11th, 2021

Akin is finding it difficult to solve his maths assignment. Akin considers his options- 1. He can take a break from it or ask for help. or 2. He can resent school and refuse to do a hard assignment. The choice he makes shows his emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence comprises a set of skills that are required for one to be able to monitor and manage theirs and others emotions- thinking and acting. This translates to their ability to be self-aware, self regulate, motivate themselves, empathize with others and socialize effectively.

Children with higher emotional intelligence are able to pay attention, perform well in school, socialize, and be empathetic. Teaching this is important, and since October is emotional intelligence awareness month, here are some tips.

Tips for Teaching Emotional Intelligence

Identify it– Start by teaching them about the different types of emotions they are likely to encounter. Use emojis as a prop for this and have the children make the faces. Also, teach them about emotional cues that can be gotten from one’s posture, tone of voice, facial expression, etc.

Understand how– Let them know how these cues can come up by associating the emotions to how they feel. For instance, if Akin is feeling frustrated with his maths assignment he will have a sad/frustrated look. Or, if the teacher is angry you can tell from the tone of their voice and expression. Let the children know why the emotions can come up.

Understand why– Knowing what and why they feel in particular ways will help them manage it properly. Akin needs to identify if he is frustrated because the maths assignment is hard or if he is too tired to deal with it at that time. Knowing why he feels the way he does will determine what he needs to do to solve it.

Express it– Being able to effectively identify and communicate what one is feeling is very important in emotional intelligence. Often we do not intend to come off the way we do but end up escalating simple things by not expressing ourselves properly. Akin can politely ask to take a break for a bit so he can refresh his mind rather than throwing a tantrum or not doing his assignment at all. He can also ask for help with a difficult problem that he cannot solve.

Address it– All these tips bring us to the place of regulation. Being able to identify and express their feelings changes things the output from angry words and grumbling to a simple conversation. Now they are able to look for ways to address what they are feeling. Akin can take that break to rest or play for a bit and then return to his assignment revitalized. He can also ask for help from someone who can help him.

Emotionally intelligence is the difference between fights on the playground and teamwork. Children, as well as adults, will perform a lot better with it.

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