Emotional intelligence involves recognising how you are feeling and how to cope with those emotions. You can teach them this by asking them to pause and notice how they’re feeling. Psychologist Susan Woodworth explained. “For example, if you see them crying you can say what are you feeling right now? You’re crying, you look really unhappy. I think you might be feeling really sad. That’s the first stage, just naming their own emotions.”
Once you can name that feeling you can do something about it. But without naming that feeling. “There are all sorts of versions of anger. And if you can work out which one it is, you can work out what sort of strategies you need to cope with that anger.”
They also need to look around and see what other people are feeling as well. In a social situation help your child to see other people and work out how that person is feeling. “You can read them their story and then say, what do you think this character is feeling? What do you think contributed to this? What can we do to help this person in this story? Or by looking around in the playground. That person sitting by themselves, what do you think they could be feeling? What can we do to help that person?”
To learn more, listen to her full chat with Bec and Jeziel below.