Emotional learning is a lifelong process that begins at birth and continues throughout your child’s entire life. It’s common knowledge these days that children with high EQ have better lifelong outcomes, from school to work and beyond. The benefits include increased life satisfaction, better relationships, and higher stability. Who doesn’t want that for their child?
After decades, social and emotional learning (SEL) is finally getting the attention it deserves from parents and teachers who recognize that a child’s emotional health is as important as his physical health. Unfortunately, getting SEL programs into school has proven difficult, as school boards and directors resist adding yet another program to underfunded schools.
Without the right coping mechanisms, anxiety can be crippling. The problem is, finding those coping mechanisms is a real challenge, because no two cases respond the same way. Plenty of patients bounce back and forth between SSRI treatment, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and lifestyle changes without finding quite the right balance.
Depression and anxiety are significant mental health concerns for children. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), more than a quarter of teens (ages 13-18) suffer from anxiety disorders and almost 6 percent battle with a “severe form” of the disorder. The NIMH also reports that “in 2015, an estimated 3 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.”
Emotional intelligence is recognizing one’s own emotions and their consequences, as well as understanding how to communicate and cope with the emotions and behaviors of others. It goes beyond mere empathy and teaches people to establish accountability by observing and critically analyzing their own actions.
Emotional intelligence wasn’t always a known—or acknowledged—component of success until 1990 when psychologists John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey published their paper on what would later become a new way of defining intelligence. Not only did the paper introduce the term ‘emotional intelligence’ or EQ to the world, it also led to a new understanding of how our emotional make-up impacts our lives.