One of the many goals of parenting (seriously, this gig is exhausting) is to raise children who feel empathy. Hopefully, they’ll go out into the world and act with kindness and social responsibility. We all want kids who will care about others, the community and the world at large. Also, with some empathy on board they may not be so quick to ship us off to some rundown old age facility the first chance they get. So teaching them empathy is a win/win.
There’s a lot of buzz about emotional intelligence (EQ). Many psychologists and social researchers now believe that it is more important than IQ for a successful life. So, if it’s so intrinsic to our wellbeing, what is it? I’ve been having a look around and trying to get a clear understanding of emotional intelligence for myself, and so that I can help my kids to establish a healthy EQ.
The Oxford dictionary defines it as:
“The capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”
That’s a lot. Let’s begin by looking at each section of that definition, starting with: