The Piptree Curriculum is based on five principles; one of them is Emotional Intelligence. Emotional self-regulation is a major part of emotional intelligence and is a person’s ability to manage their experience and expression of their emotions. With lots of time and practice, a child can improve their capacity for emotional self-regulation. We can see that by the age of 4, a child may implement strategies to combat disturbing stimuli, like when they cover their eyes or ears when they are scared or hear a loud noise.
Older children can consistently use more complex strategies, which can be split into two categories: strategies, which tolerate the problem or those, which aim to solve the problem.
All of these strategies are a part of emotional intelligence, which encompasses awareness, understanding, and the ability to express and manage their emotions. However, the importance of academic achievement is fairly well known, emotional self-regulation has been largely ignored, but we will not ignore it anymore.
Research has suggested that emotional intelligence may be twice as strong a predictor of long-term success, than IQ. Children who are able to show self-control, a particularly important piece of emotional intelligence, are able to engage more in pro-social behaviours and accomplish their goals. A particularly powerful study showed this, by testing them, and then following up with the same people 30 years later. Self-control predicted success better than IQ did, and the children who showed greater signs of self-control were healthier, made more money and were less like to have criminal records or alcohol-related problems.
Emotions are not an inconvenience, but rather a piece of human evolution that serves a purpose. The first piece of emotional intelligence is awareness and understanding emotions.
Sadness is capable of slowing us down, in both thought, and motor activity, allowing us to reflect, and take a closer look. Anger speeds us up, mobilising intense energy, allowing us to sustain energy when “fighting.” Emotions need be respected and reflected upon.
In a recent policy statement, the American Academy of Paediatrics advised parents not to use technology as a way to calm or pacify negative emotions, because the use of media could lead to problems with limit setting or the inability of a child to develop their own emotional regulation.
Boosting your child’s emotional intelligence
We can see that that emotional intelligence is important, but how do you boost your child’s emotional intelligence:
- Be aware of your child’s emotions
- See emotions as an opportunity for connection and teaching.
- Listen to and validate their feelings
- Label their emotions, and help you could develop an awareness of their emotional expression
- Help your child problem solve with limits. All emotions are acceptable, but not all behaviours are appropriate. Limit their expression to appropriate behaviours.
Sometimes the steps of emotion choosing happen quickly, and sometimes not. Patience is the key, but note that not all the steps need to be followed in one interaction!
Natasa from Piptree Sunnybank Hills 🙂