Big Brains and Big EQ 
Monday, August 15, 2016 at 11:31AM
Charity P.
by Carol Belcher
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage your own emotions in ways
 that are acceptable to the others around you.  EQ also involves our ability to read other’s emotions and understand what they are feeling.  In preschoolers, we are challenged to help our little students begin the process of building their EQ.
EQ has 4 components:
Self-awareness -  recognizing your own emotions, and being able to figure out why you feel the way you do
Self-management – controlling strong or impulsive emotions, and adapting to changes
Social awareness -  understanding other’s emotions and being able to read other people’s emotions
Relationship management – developing and maintaining good relationships through good communication and managing disagreements
In preschool, we need to start with helping our students recognize and label their own emotions.  There are activities in the Second Step kits that help build these skills and there are Apps on the mini iPads that help practice identifying emotions. 
Next, we can help our students with learning what they can do when they are in the midst of a strong emotion.  Role playing what to do when a friend won’t give you your favorite toy or the teachers can model a scenario for the class that involves conflict that the teachers must work out successfully.  Reading stories about resolving conflicts, disagreements, or disappointments can teach children about what they could and should do.  For children that have challenging behaviors around conflict with their peers, creating a social story for that child might reach the child in ways that other activities have not.
All of the current research on child development points to the great importance of EQ, and while academics are important, EQ is the best predictor of success and happiness.  We all know people who are very intelligent, but socially inept and unsuccessful at work due to a high IQ but a lower EQ.  Preschoolers are at the starting line with developing their preschooler EQ and we are charged with helping them build big brains and big EQ.

 

 

Article originally appeared on CASOKY (http://www.casoky.org/).
See website for complete article licensing information.