The Benefits of Emotional Intelligence for You and Your Children

We tend to emphasize academic preparation and results with children. Often less effort is put into teaching kids the emotional skills they need to succeed in life and have a healthy childhood. Knowing how to combat stress and anxiety and take care of their feelings are key components to living a successful life.

There is a strong correlation between students' emotional intelligence and their classroom behavior. Students with low emotional intelligence may struggle to have relationships with their peers, to focus or may even show aggressive behavior such as bullying. Students with undeveloped emotional intelligence tend to struggle to communicate their feelings with their peers; this can result in children struggling to form friendships with classmates or even relationships with adults.

Many people expect children to learn emotional regulation simply from observing family dynamics, by participating in school, church, and community activities. For many children however, this is simply not the case.

Aggression and bullying are common issues for students with lower emotional intelligence, because they don't have the skills they need to communicate or manage their emotions appropriately. These behavior problems often surface in preschool or early elementary school and tend to increase in seriousness from that point on and can become mental health issues.

Preschools and elementary schools that integrate emotional intelligence programs or different forms of play therapy gain some very real benefits. For example, students who participate in these programs, exhibit less aggressive behavior towards adults and their peers. Developing emotional intelligence improves relationships in the classroom, making it easier for teachers to teach and students to learn.

Life skills, such as being able to focus and control emotions, are supportive of good health, increased creativity and wealth, independent of the child's IQ or their socio-economic status at birth."

A New Zealand Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study followed 1,000 children for more than three decades, measuring their self-control.

By adulthood, children in the group with the highest emotional self-control were significantly less likely to have health problems than children in the group with lower self-control. They were also found to be much less likely to have addictions to substances or a criminal record. The children with high self-control and emotional intelligence also went on to earn more money as adults.

It’s not uncommon for children with anxiety to be disruptive at school, where demands and expectations put extra pressure on them that they are not equipped to handle. It can be very confusing to teachers and other staff members to ‘read’ that behavior since it can seem to come out of nowhere.

Anxiety can express itself in many different ways. Children who do not have the words to express their feelings, might manifest their anxiety with behavioral problems, acting out as bullying, the class ‘fool’ or even shutting down.

Disruptive behavior often stems from unresolved anxiety. A child who acts out, may be reacting to anxiety he/she may not be able to articulate, or n