We’re in the midst of a historical first. The first generation of children raised entirely on smartphones, the iGeneration, is facing a skyrocketing mental illness rate, and studies suggest that too much screen time is to blame. In fact, suicide in teenage girls is the highest that it’s been in over 40 years. What can we do to protect our children?
Emotional learning is a lifelong process that begins at birth and continues throughout your child’s entire life. It’s common knowledge these days that children with high EQ have better lifelong outcomes, from school to work and beyond. The benefits include increased life satisfaction, better relationships, and higher stability. Who doesn’t want that for their child?
After decades, social and emotional learning (SEL) is finally getting the attention it deserves from parents and teachers who recognize that a child’s emotional health is as important as his physical health. Unfortunately, getting SEL programs into school has proven difficult, as school boards and directors resist adding yet another program to underfunded schools.
As educators, parents, and childcare workers, we’re lucky enough to live in an era where emotional intelligence is finally discussed in the open. Researchers focus on the benefits of high EQ in childhood, but they’re less vocal about the problems that plague adults with low emotional intelligence as they try to navigate the social aspects of school, work, and relationships.
Without the right coping mechanisms, anxiety can be crippling. The problem is, finding those coping mechanisms is a real challenge, because no two cases respond the same way. Plenty of patients bounce back and forth between SSRI treatment, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and lifestyle changes without finding quite the right balance.
There comes a time in every parent’s life when he has to handle full-blown, screaming, kicking, public tantrums for the very first time. Seeing your child in a worked-up emotional state is hard, no matter what your parenting strategy is. It’s tempting to go back on your word and tell her “yes, you can have that candy bar,” or to sternly tell him that we don’t scream in this house.
It’s no secret that emotional intelligence is a crucial skill set in childhood. Children who have developed emotional intelligence are better at solving social problems, nurturing relationships, and expressing themselves. Setting your child up to carry these skills into a successful adulthood is a huge part of childrearing and early education.
Emotional intelligence is recognizing one’s own emotions and their consequences, as well as understanding how to communicate and cope with the emotions and behaviors of others. It goes beyond mere empathy and teaches people to establish accountability by observing and critically analyzing their own actions.