Summer Reading to Help Sharpen Your Emotional Intelligence Skills

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Summer’s extended daytime hours offer a welcome respite for parents – offering them time to pause and refuel their brain cells with a good book, a hammock and a tall drink.  Still, the most fanciful of topics rarely diverts their minds from thinking about their kids’ welfare.  Here are some page turners that can keep them reading in the right direction:

Emotional Intelligence Toolkit

This free help guide from EquipOurKids.org is chock full of tips and tools for managing stress, identifying emotional triggers, improving relationships, and gaining perspectives on how to bridge the roles of parent, wife, lover and friend. its instant stress relief suggestions and multi-level meditations (beginning, intermediate and advanced) are conveniently timed for those who can only spend 16 minutes up to a full 30 minute immersion.  

Character Lab

How do parents help their kids develop the mettle to face life’s challenges?  And the gratitude to appreciate the blessings that come their way? These questions are addressed in this free resource created by a group of scientists led by MacArthur Fellow Angela Duckworth, who share their action-based research with a series of tips and playbooks that focus on helping kids learn self-control and good judgement and decision-making.

The Don’t Get Me Started! Toolkit – Strategies for a Culturally-Challenged World

Modeling emotional intelligence is one of the most effective ways parents can illustrate this important skill.  This book offers many scenarios where readers are faced with decisions that test their level of  EQ in situations that explore the rapidly-changing mores of gender identity, cultural and generational differences and technological changes.  Authors Connie Payne and Patricia Kutza also offer a series of Workbooks where kids at the primary and secondary school level can test their EQ skills.

52 Essential Conversations

This is a game-based resource that covers a wide range of social-emotional learning topics.  Implicit bias, inclusion, equity, social and self-awareness and building healthy relationships are some of the key topics covered.

Parenting Without Power Struggles

Family therapist Susan Stiffelman shares her enlightened strategies that make it possible to think differently about that ‘third rail’ – power struggles – that so often can derail healthy family relationships.  And resolve them smartly – while staying cool, calm and connected.


Patricia Kutza is a partner (with Connie Payne) in DGMS & Co. Their company offers books and workshops based on social and emotional learning principles to schools, labor workforce units and senior living communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

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