Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

The Importance of Developing Emotional Intelligence through Education

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

The Importance of Developing Emotional Intelligence through Education

Article excerpt

While classroom education continues to focus on academics, there is little-to-no emphasis on healthy emotional development in an era where we need it more than ever before. In fact, the State of the Heart 2016 study found that emotional intelligence continues to decline globally. What's more, since 2014, there has been a decline in maintaining emotional balance (-3.3 percent), self-motivation (-2.9 percent), and connecting compassionately with others (-2.4 percent). The numbers don't lie; it's clear that if we want to live in a more compassionate world, then society needs to place a higher emphasis on emotional development.

So how does a lack of emotional education hurt children? A lack of emotional understanding and empathy for others can provoke negative situations such as bullying.

Peer aggression has even been found to be very common among preschool and kindergarten children ages three to five, and 20 percent of kindergarten students report being frequently bullied.

Cyberbullying seems to have become just as big, if not a bigger issue than schoolyard bullying. This is extremely scary as it makes it more difficult to identify or be reported, being privately executed through technological social forums.

In order to prevent these issues from occurring, we need to arm children with the emotional skills needed to better understand and deal with their emotions, both positive and negative. Parents and teachers, together, need to take the time to build up these skills, just as they would with an academic subject like math or language. The benefits of doing so aren't just to prevent the hurtful situations like those dealing with bullying and cyberbullying, but rather to help children excel in many other areas in life, such as achieving higher grades, staying in school, and making healthier choices. According to psychologist, author and anti-bullying expert, Dr. Joel Haber, there are many key benefits of teaching empathy to children, including:

* It provides them with the key ingredients to develop satisfying relationships and lifelong happiness.

* Children are less likely to engage in bullying behaviors.

* They are more likely to stand up for another child they see being bullied.

* Children are better equipped to read emotional expressions and practice helping someone in need.

And it doesn't stop there. The development of emotional intelligence, or EQ, is just as important as IQ, in fact quite relevant in the development of IQ. …

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